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Sitra publishes its latest feature on 41 pioneering Finnish circular economy companies

The new list of the most interesting companies in the circular economy shows that great progress has been made in developing the circular economy in Finland.


Antti Lehtinen

Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs


Compiled by Sitra, the new “The most interesting companies in the circular economy in Finland 2.1” list presents 41 pioneering companies that offer circular economy solutions to the global sustainability crisis.

The new publication is a follow-up to the tremendously popular “The most interesting companies in the circular economy” list, which Sitra has updated since 2017. During this time, circularity has gone from being a niche initiative from a selection of individual pioneering companies to being a widespread profitable business phenomenon.

“The latest list shows that we’ve taken a great leap in circular economy The circular economy An economic model which does not focus on producing more and more goods, but in which consumption is based on using services – sharing, renting and recycling – instead of owning. Materials are not destroyed in the end, but are used to make new products over and over again. Open term page The circular economy development in Finland. We have companies and solutions that are at the leading edge, even by international comparison,” says Project Director Kari Herlevi from Sitra.

The updated report includes companies that were featured on the previous list as well as new entrants. Many solutions that were previously in a product development phase have evolved into commercial innovations. The list includes start-ups as well as major corporations on the path towards circularity.

“Many circular economy solutions that began as experiments have made great progress and have been developed into profitable business. A lot of strong applicants were also left off the list this time around,” Herlevi adds.

A total of 168 companies applied to be included in the directory and a jury comprised of circular economy specialists from Sitra and its partners chose the 41 most interesting applicants. The selected companies represent various industries and the five business models of the circular economy.

Circular economy solutions are needed to stop the climate crisis and biodiversity loss

The circular economy is an economic model that addresses the root causes of the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and diminishing natural resources.

A circular economy does not continuously produce more goods but rather utilises the value of the products and materials already in use for as long as possible. Instead of ownership, consumption is based on using services.

“The climate crisis and biodiversity loss cannot be solved without a circular economy. We simply have to make smarter use of the products and materials that are already in use. This includes reductions in industrial emissions, improving resource efficiency and shifting consumption patterns from ownership to the use of services,” Kari Herlevi explains.

For example, a report published by Sitra in 2018 indicated that if the plastic, aluminium, steel and concrete that is already in use were to be reused according to circular economy principles, emissions in the EU could be reduced by as much as 56 per cent by 2050.

This reduction would represent a significant step towards halting the warming of the planet to about two degrees.

A more diverse selection of circular economy firms – but still room for improvement

How do Finnish circularity pioneers compare with the world’s most advanced circular economy solutions?

“The circular economy and the variety of companies operating within it in Finland has grown more diverse,” according to Kari Herlevi. “Nevertheless, the list reflects Finnish companies’ strong expertise in renewables and recycled materials. Materials that replace virgin plastic as well as textile industry innovations are good examples of this.”

When it comes to the development of digital solutions that promote circularity and circular economy service models, there is still room for improvement in Finland.

“Developing new solutions requires co-operation and new capabilities. I hope that companies will make bold investments in product development and competence development,” Herlevi concludes.

Read a summary of the companies on our list: The most interesting companies in the circular economy in Finland 2.1.

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