Circular economy teaching for all levels of education

Ended project 2017-2019.

In order to create a circular economy society, we need a new kind of expertise, co-operation between silos, development of the operating environment and a general change in attitudes and operating methods. Professionals, experts and decision-makers, both now and in the future, will play a decisive role in building a new future. Education plays an important role in developing experts.

For teachers

A magnifying class over a mobile phone.

Nine tips for teachers: how to teach remotely about the phenomena shaping our future


Circular economy teaching materials for primary school, upper secondary school and vocational school


How to make the circular economy part of the national education system – Tips from Finland

What was it about?

We want to challenge the entire educational sector to consider what type of world we want to create. An effort must be made to ensure that every sector has experts in the circular economy. We need professionals who are educated in lifecycle thinking and extensive co-operation and who understand that economic growth in a circular economy is not dependent on the consumption of natural resources.

The circular economy makes it easier to observe our constantly changing world comprehensively and offers a good foundation for lifelong learning and the education of new professionals.

We want future experts to be able to combine circular economy expertise with their own competence. We believe that when today’s school pupils are ready to enter employment, the debate about the circular economy will no one longer exist; the circular economy will be the only way of operating.

What was achieved?

We co-operate with all levels of education to ensure that circular economy thinking reaches as many Finns as possible. Together, we will provide future experts with the tools they can use to build a sustainable future and new business.

We developed and tested the learning materials and courses together with all educational levels. Over 70 000 children and young all around Finland studied the circular economy in 2018-2019.

Who participated?

Sitra funded the projects, and the project managers on Sitra’s side were Nani Pajunen and Riitta Silvennoinen. We co-operate with over 50 schools, universities, educational organisations and companies.

Colleges and vocational colleges: Espoon seudun koulutuskuntayhtymä Omnia, Etelä-Kymenlaakson ammattiopisto, Länsi-Uudenmaan koulutuskuntayhtymä Luksia, Lounais-Suomen koulutuskuntayhtymä Novida, Saimaan ammattiopisto Sampo, Savon ammattiopisto Sakky, Stadin ammattiopisto, Suomen ympäristöopisto SYKLI, Vantaan ammattiopisto Varia

Universities of applied sciences: Centria-ammattikorkeakoulu, Haaga-Helia, Hämeen ammattikorkeakoulu, Kaakkois-Suomen ammattikorkeakoulu, Karelia-ammattikorkeakoulu, Lahden ammattikorkeakoulu, Lapin ammattikorkeakoulu, Laurea, Metropolia, Oulun ammattikorkeakoulu, Savonia-ammattikorkeakoulu, Seinäjoen ammattikorkeakoulu, Tampereen ammattikorkeakoulu, Turun ammattikorkeakoulu, Vaasan ammattikorkeakoulu, Yrkeshögskolan Novia

Universities: Aalto University, the University of Helsinki, the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Jyväskylä, Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius, LUT University, the University of Oulu, TTY University, the University of Tampere, the University of Turku, the University of Vaasa, Yale University.

Other educational organisations: Helsinki Think Company, Heureka, Edupoli, Kouvolan Aikuiskoulutussäätiö, the Finnish Nature League, Nuori Yrittäjyys ry, Finnish National Agency for Education, Economy and youth TAT.

In addition many companies and cities participated in the projects.

Ended projects


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Nani Pajunen
Senior Lead, Sustainability solutions

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