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THE ENVIRONMENT

Raw materials and energy will be in short supply in the future. We will need to learn to do more with less. The Environmental Programme (2005–2007) highlighted the opportunities for environmental business at just the right time.

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Growth and significant business with cleantech

Cleantech is a term used for any form of technology and business which aims to minimise the burden on the environment. The term was originally coined for investors in the Silicon Valley in the early 2000s.

Sitra discovered that venture capital investments in cleantech companies had increased by 35 per cent in 2005. The challenge was to convince the Finnish industrial sector that this was a strengthening global trend which would offer growth opportunities to us as well.

By carrying out its climate policy, Finland can claim its share of the global climate technology market and the jobs it creates. It is important to monitor signals of change and to respond to them at the right time – not too early, nor too late. This is where Sitra’s Environmental Programme (2005–2007) was successful.

The global cleantech market grows at the rate of some 10 percent annually. The sector is also growing in Finland, although not as fast. Boldness is still needed, as is more successful commercialisation of the technology, service sales and long-term thinking.

Cleantech is not an unimportant sideline: it represents cutting-edge technology such as chemicals which purify water or smart energy-saving power grids. Heavy industry is becoming increasingly green, too – after all, when you waste energy, you waste money.

Increasing consumption easily eats away the savings achieved through energy and material efficiency. Technology alone is not enough – consumption must genuinely decrease.

Thus Sitra’s Energy Programme (2008–2012) will focus on reducing energy consumption and improving energy efficiency in the built environment. Energy consumption can be reduced in a variety of ways, through the use of new technologies and urban planning as well as life-style.

Ympäristöosaajien yhteistyö jatkuu

The Environmental Programme team consisted of the following people:

  • Jukka Noponen, Executive Director
  • Taru Sipiläinen, Programme Assistant
  • Laura Järvinen, Project Manager
  • Riina Loukola, Project Manager
  • Heikki Sundquist, Business Director
  • Sami Tuhkanen, Development Manager

The programme team was assembled for the duration of the programme only. More information on the programme is available from Sitra’s Communications on-call service, tel. +358 40 548 0794.

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