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Finland is to take the lead in environmental business

The national action plan for environmental business in Finland was launched.


Cleantech Finland™ – boosting environmental business

The national action plan for environmental business in Finland was launched on 13 February 2007. The aim of the action plan is to to make cleantech a cornerstone of Finnish industry. The action plan was devised within Sitra’s Environmental Programme, which bases its operations on accelerating the growth and internationalisation of Finnish environmental business. The action plan was devised in collaboration with business and industry, organisations, as well as public administration and research institutes.

The action plan set the goal of making Finland the leading country in environmental business by 2012. According to Jukka Noponen, Executive Director of Sitra’s Environmental Programme, Finland has every potential to achieve this goal and the necessary strategic intent is emerging.
– Environmental challenges must be addressed through market-based mechanisms so that companies can be closely involved in the development work, he says.

The action plan recommends four main themes and suggests that several tools be employed to achieve growth.

Finland – the world’s best-known cleantech country

Finnish environmental know-how will be developed into a key competitive factor and a leading brand for export. Finland must be as famous for its environmental know-how as Switzerland is for its watches. A marketing and communications programme will be launched to strengthen Finland’s positive image as the foundation for environmental business.

Finland is the best breeding ground for environmental business

Finland will create a pioneering market for environmental business. This will require the development of environmental business, focused training activities and an effective funding system. It is proposed that domestic markets be strengthened by public procurement being systematically focused on environmentally friendly and innovative solutions, developing eco-efficiency verification techniques, establishing a fund investing in cleantech and new funding solutions for launching reference plants.

Finnish top expertise in named focus areas

Energy and environmental companies and scientific communities combine together to form a strategic centre of excellence. The centre of excellence will direct its resources into cleantech. The strategic centre of excellence will create new openings for international growth and a sharpened competitive edge.

The most efficient international business networks

A small country must be able to cooperate and efficiently network into the markets. The environmental field is fragmented and therefore needs incentives to engage in the cooperation and development of best practices to consolidate its networks. A growth company programme will be launched to increase the number of medium-sized and internationally oriented enterprises.

Implementation soon under way

The national action plan has outlined measures related to the above four main themes and the bodies that would be in charge of them. Projects linked with the themes will be launched soon. The forthcoming government programme should address the issue of facilitating environmental business.

– The new government should take up the opportunity by creating a programme in which energy, environmental and innovation policies are further integrated and support the creation of new industry and jobs, says Jukka Noponen.

Finland has an opportunity at hand. It needs to transform its reputation as a leading environmental country into a rapidly growing business. Sitra aims to safeguard the successful launch of the key projects outlined in the action plan. The commitment of key actors is paramount for their implementation.

Strategic ownership to guarantee good coordination

The development of environmental know-how into a success factor requires a strategic owner to coordinate and accelerate the process. Such an owner is currently emerging. The business sector is in the process of establishing an environmental forum, a cooperation organ for organisations and companies, which will coordinate and promote the participation of business and industry in the development and internationalisation of environmental business. The practical coordination will be carried out by a secretariat to be formed under the Association of Environmental Enterprises.

Further information

Jukka Noponen, Executive Director, Sitra’s Environmental Programme
Tel. +358 40 587 4323,

National action plan in pdf format (in Finnish) »

The videocast of the launch of the national action plan at Finland Hall will be available on Sitra’s website under Seminars on the Web »

Publication details

Cleantech Finland – Ympäristöstä liiketoimintaa (Cleantech Finland – boosting environmental business)
The national action plan for environmental business in Finland.
ISBN 978-951-563-588-4 (paperback)
ISBN 978-951-563-589-1 (URL:
You can order the publication from Sitra, tel. +358 (9) 618 991, e-mail:

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