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Finland, Canada and the Netherlands join forces to advance the circular economy as key to a sustainable recovery

The world needs a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Finland has joined forces with Canada and the Netherlands to host three high level events to address the important role circularity plays in the economies of the future, as well as in the fight against climate change and the nature crisis.


Tuula Sjöstedt

Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs


Along with their partners, Sitra will showcase the tools and solutions countries need to build well-being and prosperity by hosting three events under the flagship of the World Circular Economy Forum:

  • WCEFonline on 29 and 30 September 2020
  • WCEF+Climate on 15 and 16 April 2021 in the Netherlands and online
  • WCEF2021 on 13–15 September 2021 in Toronto, Canada.

The three events will address the choice we face at this critical juncture. We can find our way back to growth by kicking ‘business as usual’ into overdrive – or we can capitalise on a shift that has already started, the shift towards the circular economy that helps us to thrive in the long term.

WCEFonline will demonstrate how the circular economy can enhance resilience on a business and society level; the WCEF event in the Netherlands will address the links between the circular economy and climate; while WCEF2021 in Canada will identify the key actions and systemic changes needed to create the conditions for a thriving global circular economy.

WCEFonline will share leading circular economy solutions for building more resilience

The upcoming virtual WCEFonline event will show practical circular economy examples that will help us to seize this unique opportunity to rebuild our economies stronger, greener and better. Throughout six separate sessions, WCEFonline will enable the circular community from all over the world to participate in the discussions.

The sessions will provide different lenses through which business leaders and policy makers can assess the risks and opportunities associated with their resource dependence. The key questions will include how the circular economy helps in building more resilient businesses, why sustainable finance is key, and what governments need to focus on now to scale up the circular economy.

The event will include keynotes from Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations’ Environment Programme; Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission; Stientje van Veldhoven, Minister for the Environment of the Netherlands; Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change of Canada; and Jyrki Katainen, President of Sitra, among others.

“To ensure a sustainable recovery, we need to take decisive measures that encourage the transition to a carbon-neutral circular economy that prospers in harmony with nature,” says Sitra’s President Jyrki Katainen.

WCEF event in the Netherlands for decision-makers

The Netherlands, also an active member in the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), will organise a multi-stakeholder high-level meeting as part of the World Circular Economy Forum to address the links between the circular economy and climate. It will help to prepare for upcoming international climate negotiations and aims to position the circular economy higher on the COP and broader international agenda. The objective is also to broaden the coalition of the willing, build bridges between the public and private sector, and include more developing countries into the global debate on the benefits of circularity. The event will take place both in the Netherlands and online.

“The Netherlands is very much looking forward to hosting a high level WCEF meeting on the circular economy and climate change on 15 April 2021. There is no doubt that the transition to a circular economy is crucial in reaching our climate goals. We need to recognise the large and cost-effective contribution that the circular economy can make in building a more sustainable society, especially in the post-COVID-19 world,” says Minister for the Environment of the Netherlands Stientje van Veldhoven.

WCEF2021 will address systems-level changes needed to accelerate the circular transition

The landmark circular economy event of the year, the World Circular Economy Forum, will be held in Toronto, Canada. This will mark the first time the annual forum is held in North America. The WCEF2021 will build on the previous events to focus on the cross-cutting issues and topics that are central to economic recovery and the circular shift. WCEF2021 will identify the key actions and systemic changes needed to create the conditions for a thriving global circular economy.

“The work to advance the circular economy must continue and Canada is looking forward to hosting the World Circular Economy Forum in 2021. We will assemble the world’s leading thinkers and innovators on the circular economy to take an in-depth look at opportunities in the North American and global context. This event will showcase the sustainable pathways needed to advance the transition to the circular economy around the world,” says the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

The WCEF+Climate event name and date have been updated.

More information

Further information on the WCEFonline event

Media contacts: Samuli Laita, Leading Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs, Sitra,, tel. +358 40 536 8650

Further information on the WCEF event in the Netherlands

Nicolette Rodenburg, Press Officer for Minister for the Environment of the Netherlands,, tel. +31 (0)6 53 20 08 52

Further information on the WCEF2021 in Canada

Media Relations, Environment and Climate Change Canada,,
tel. +1 819 938 3338 or 1 844 836 7799 (toll-free)

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