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Circular Economy Steering Group speeding up Finland’s transition to a new economic model

We need a new, more sustainable economic model to curb the global sustainability crisis. The Circular Economy Steering Group supports Finland’s transition from a wasteful economy into a circular economy.


The growth of the economy and well-being can no longer be based on the wasteful use of natural resources. Together with the most important actors in society, Sitra has created the world’s first national road map to a circular economy, listing the steps required in the transition towards a more sustainable society. The first actions in the road map are based on the areas that have traditionally been Finland’s strengths and may offer tens of thousands of new jobs and generate billions of euros in added value each year.

To ensure the effectiveness of the work to implement the road map, Sitra has set up the Circular Economy Steering Group, consisting of leading decision-makers from businesses, administration, research and non-governmental organisations in Finland.

The aim of the steering group is to create the framework for Finland to become the first society in the world to transfer to a carbon-neutral circular economy.

The steering group encourages and supports Sitra in defining the national circular economy objectives, in outlining strategic policies and in the implementation of the steps of the road map. The key and pilot projects identified in the road map – totalling more than 60 – are already well under way in a number of different organisations. However, the steering group does not have authority over Sitra’s operation, nor are its activities part of the steering of Sitra’s operations.

The other task given to the steering group is to strengthen Finland’s international position as a pioneer of the circular economy. For example, half of its members also participated in Beyond WCEF2017: The European Union advancing a global circular economy (link in Finnish), a seminar Sitra organised in Brussels in October. In the seminar, the central role of Finland and the EU in building a global circular economy was emphasised and there was a call for more actions similar to the wide variety of those carried out by Finland.

The circular economy is made together

To engage and motivate everyone in Finland in the transition towards a circular economy, co-operation is needed between all sectors. The third task given to the members of the steering group is to promote wide-ranging national and international interaction between different sectors and industries.

With the help of a multidisciplinary dialogue, the members will increase understanding of the circular economy among different actors, spread the message about the best Finnish and international solutions and encourage co-operation. As a result, new points of view may be brought up for discussion in the ministries, companies may be inspired to solve problems through a co-operation project or Sitra may investigate the need to organise a tendering process for new trials.

The Circular Economy Steering Group convenes three times a year and its term runs from 1 January 2017 to 31 October 2019. Other Finnish and foreign circular economy experts may also attend its meetings.

Members of the Circular Economy Steering Group 2017-2019

  • Chair Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing, Ministry of the Environment
  • Chair Kirsi Sormunen, professional in corporate board work
  • Deputy Chair Hannele Pokka, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment
  • Henrik Ehrnrooth, Chairman of the Board, Climate Leadership Coalition (CLC)
  • Jussi Hattula, Investment Director, Finnish Industry Investment Ltd
  • Sampo Hietanen, CEO, MaaS Global Ltd
  • Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Lauri Ihalainen, Minister, Member of Parliament, Finnish Parliament
  • Saara Kankaanrinta, Chair of the Board, Soilfood Oy
  • Sixten Korkman, Professor of Practice (Economics), Aalto University
  • Timo Leppä, Director General, Chemical Industry Federation of Finland
  • Juha Marttila, First Chairman of the Executive Board, Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK)
  • Antti Palola, Chairman, Finnish Confederation of Professionals (STTK)
  • Mari Pantsar, Director, Sitra
  • Petri Peltonen, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
  • Risto E. J. Penttilä, CEO, Finland Chamber of Commerce
  • Timo Reina, Deputy Managing Director, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities
  • Jyri Seppälä, Director, Professor, Finnish Environment Institute
  • Leo Stranius, Executive Director, Kansalaisareena (Citizen Forum)
  • Jorma Turunen, CEO, Technology Industries of Finland
  • Antti Vasara, President and CEO, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd
Contact us
Director, Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra
Project Director, Global collaboration, Sustainability solutions

+358 294 618 287

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