The award honours Sitra and its partners’ pioneering work to accelerate the transition to a circular economy and to build a more sustainable future for everyone, both in Finland and globally. The annual Circulars Awards recognise individuals and organisations across the globe that are making notable contributions to the circular economy in the private and public sectors and throughout society.
“We want to thank our partners for the great collaboration we’ve had on the circular economy,” says Sitra Director Mari Pantsar. “Without the close co-operation, we would not be able to succeed in our initiatives. Finland is a great testing ground for initiatives, but the best solutions need to be implemented globally to achieve a truly circular economy.”
Sitra is a Finnish future fund that collaborates with partners from different sectors to research, trial and implement bold new ideas that shape the future. The future-oriented “think-and-do tank” is supporting Finland’s own inspirational story as a global leader that puts the circular economy into practice and delivers concrete benefits across all sectors of business and society.
What can the world learn from Finland?
Sitra started to build a circular economy in Finland by first creating the world’s first National Road Map for the Circular Economy 2016-2025, a plan of action that consists of numerous key and pilot projects. Based on the road map, the Government of Finland and Sitra also co-launched a National Action Programme on the Circular Economy in the Autumn of 2017 that further demonstrates Finland’s commitment.
Finland, famous for its comprehensive education system, is also leading the way in including the circular economy in education, again with the support of Sitra. Circular economy education will now be offered to tens of thousands of students from all age groups, ranging from primary schools to universities.
The future fund is also working with businesses on their transformation to a circular economy in which they reuse and recycle their materials and minimise waste. Sitra has also compiled a list of almost a hundred case studies detailing the most interesting circular economy companies in Finland.
In addition to national initiatives, Sitra is also very active in developing the circular economy in the European Union, as well as across the world. “The circular economy is not only a vast opportunity for Europe and the rest of the world, but it is the right path to take towards a sustainable future for us all,” says European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness. “This requires close cooperation between many actors. Through its future-oriented initiatives, Sitra has shown global leadership and its unique abilities create bridges between organisations from all sectors of society.”
To support the global transition to the circular economy, Sitra has set up a Circular Economy Steering Group, which aims to encourage and support the EU to adopt a key role in building a global circular economy, among other things. The future fund has also promoted global networking and sharing of ideas related to the circular economy by organising the world’s first World Circular Economy Forum in 2017 in Helsinki, Finland. The event gathered over 1,600 key business representatives, policymakers and experts on the circular economy from almost 100 countries to share their best solutions and practices.
In 2018 the World Circular Economy Forum will be co-hosted by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan and Sitra in Yokohama, Japan, between 22 and 24 October. In 2019, the World Circular Economy Forum will be held again in Helsinki.