A carbon-neutral circular economy

The way we live, travel, eat and do business is undergoing a radical change. The new everyday life will be based on using services instead of owning things.



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We have started a journey towards a society whose foundation is within the limits of the earth’s carrying capacity. With accelerating population growth, rapidly depleting natural resources and a climate crisis, we must increase efficiency and reduce emissions. It means that our everyday life and well-being can no longer be based on excessive consumption and fossil fuels. Instead of owning, it will be increasingly easier for us to use services, and out of environmental considerations will come new business opportunities.

At Sitra, we work with everyone in Finland to be the first in the world to offer the means to achieve this new version of everyday life. Our aim is that companies will base their business logic and profit mainly on providing services and not on the distribution of products in large quantities. We are generating ways to increase the consumer demand for environmentally friendly solutions and are challenging the public sector to create a working framework for the new economy.

What do we do?

We aim to rouse, inspire and help people, companies and administrations to see the opportunities of the new low-carbon lifestyle and the business opportunities related to it. We work together to experiment and discover permanent, easy-to-use, intelligent and clean solutions. The world’s growing cities require more sustainable food production, which is a huge market opportunity for Finnish companies. For this to happen, companies, research organisations, cities, municipalities and the state must engage in a new type of co-operation.

Our means for achieving this goal include challenge prizes, development programmes, trials and events, to mention just a few. The encounters generated by bringing together a host of different operators will create exactly the kind of new activity that will make Finland one of the pioneers of change in the next 5 to 10 years.

What was achieved?

Between 2013 and 2016, we developed practical tools to help companies make their businesses carbon neutral. Companies play an important role in encouraging everyone in Finland to make smarter and more sustainable choices every day.

According to our report, the circular economy can increase the value of our national economy by a minimum of 3 billion euros by 2030. The process of drawing up the world’s first national road map for a circular economy was led by Sitra and the road map was published in autumn 2016. The first trials of this road map – the key projects and pilots – have already been launched. The focus of attention has been on the role administrations can play in enabling things, on the encounters of different operators in society and on co-operation between companies.

Our aim is to make Finland a trailblazer for a new society based on a sustainable economy by 2019.