Estimated reading time 3 min

Circular economy playbook for chemical industry companies

Transition to a circular economy calls for new kinds of business models. A playbook published today provides chemical industry companies with tools for evaluating their operations and developing new business.


Tuula Sjöstedt

Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs


Transitioning to a new kind of economic model in which materials and value are not wasted – the circular economy – demands that companies look at their business from a new perspective. Today, the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland published together with Sitra and Business Finland a circular economy playbook for chemical companies that have an ambitious approach to combatting climate change. The Playbook presents five future business models and several examples that companies can use to approach the carbon-neutral circular economy. It serves as a tool for creating new sustainable business models.

“It is wonderful that the industry is taking the goal of carbon neutrality seriously, and that is indeed what consumers expect. However, the necessary leaps forward in development cannot be made without adequate investments and a change in business models. Circular economy innovations that systematically drive this change require tools and support, especially during and after the coronavirus crisis”, says Jyri Arponen, Senior lead for the carbon-neutral circular economy at Sitra. He has also been involved in creating the Circular economy playbook for manufacturing companies.

The chemical industry aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, and the industry’s roadmap for carbon neutrality will be completed in June. Many chemical companies have also set more ambitious company-specific carbon neutrality targets. A report on possible technologies to reduce emissions was published in January, and a study will be completed In October 2020 on the skilled personnel that chemical companies need to achieve carbon neutrality.

The playbook provides essential information on how a chemical company can make its operations more sustainable and, in the process, open completely new business opportunities. The chemical industry plays an important role in making the circular economy possible in other fields, as well.

“Companies are taking the climate challenge seriously, and many chemical companies engaged in developing the playbook within a short time”, says Rasmus Pinomaa, Chemical Industry Federation of Finland’s project manager for the carbon-neutrality programme Carbon Neutral Chemistry 2045.

“The enthusiasm of chemical companies to engage in the project is an indicator not only of the commitment of companies, but also of the need for further information and collaboration across value chains. The playbook is a good start to this”, says Marika Ollaranta, head of Business Finland’s Bio and Circular Finland programme.

Business profitability is an essential precondition for corporate climate investment. Therefore, sustainable business models are the foundation of carbon neutrality. The playbook supports companies in evaluating their operations and provides tangible guidance on creating new business models.

Download the playbook for free: Sustainable and circular business models for the chemical industry – Circular economy playbook for chemical companies

The playbook is a guide for sustainable business development commissioned by the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland, Business Finland and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. It has been developed by Accenture together with ten Finnish chemical industry companies. The playbook is based on the chemical industry and Sitra’s Europe-wide work to promote the circular economy and Sitra’s Circular economy playbook for manufacturing companies.

What's this about?