The circular economy for the younger generation – study material

Ended project: 10/2017 – 9/2019

Novida developed courses and materials on the circular economy for upper secondary schools and vocational education institutions, based on which circular economy courses can also be arranged in other educational institutions.

What was it about?

The project was part of the Circular economy teaching for all levels of education package implemented between 2017 and 2019. Sitra’s vision was that all graduates should understand what the circular economy means from the point of view of their work and day-to-day life, and what decisions and actions they can take to promote the circular economy. The aim was to increase expertise in the circular economy in Finland by extensively developing circular economy training, materials, concepts and co-operation from different points of view for all levels of education. More than 50 educational institutions, organisations and businesses took part in the package.

What was achieved?

Novida, who provides vocational and general upper secondary education and training, produced content for teaching sustainable development in vocational and upper secondary education in the project and influenced the general atmosphere in educational institutions by inducting and committing teachers to including sustainable development and the circular economy theme as part of all modules of vocational upper secondary qualification.

The project involved developing online courses for promoting sustainable development (in Finnish), which Novida students and external students can also take after the end of the project, guided and graded by a teacher at their own educational institution. Plans for the mandatory and optional courses prepared and piloted for classroom training on promoting sustainable development are available on the Novida website (in Finnish).

The project also produced a joint Olipa kerran hampurilainen (Once upon a time, there was a burger) course for vocational and general upper secondary education, piloted as a joint project between the upper secondary school and vocational college in Loimaa during the school year 2018/2019. The description, schedule and implementation of the course are available on the Novida website (in Finnish).

During 2018 and 2019, the project involved approximately 1,500 students and 290 teachers.

Who was involved?

Sitra funded the project, and the people responsible for the project at Sitra were Riitta Silvennoinen and Nani Pajunen. The project was co-ordinated by Novida. Valonia, the Service Centre for Sustainable Development and Energy of Southwest Finland, was also involved in the management of the project. The partners from the education sector were the University of Turku, the University of Helsinki, Turku University of Applied Sciences and various upper secondary-level educational institutions. Other expert organisations, local businesses and the City of Loimaa were also involved in the project.


Nani Pajunen
Senior Lead, Sustainability solutions

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