A circular economy

Circular economy solutions are needed to safeguard biodiversity and solve the climate crisis. Join us in creating a fair transition to a society in which we maintain the value of what we produce through smarter design and shifting from owning products to using services.

Latest

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WCEF2023 Summary Report is here!

WCEF2023 logo, an eagle holding a briefcase with money flying
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Leading multilateral development banks tighten their collaboration to accelerate the circular economy

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Circular solutions can halt biodiversity loss – The food and agriculture sector can make the largest contribution

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41 pioneering Finnish circular economy companies

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A guide to help any country create a national circular economy road map 

Young leaders on stage at the WCEF2023.
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The youth recipe for a just and circular future

A collage-like illustration of oil pumps and the money around them burning. The fire is put out by Manneke's Pisin Urtsa. There is a lot more money in front of the WCEF logo and the globe than there is around the oil pumps.
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From COP28 to a circular world: Investments need to focus on the circular economy alongside renewables

several famous buildings and monuments from Brussels assembled above the WCEF2024 logo
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WCEF2024 hits Brussels on 15–18 April to turn circular visions into actions

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Call for applications

WCEF Side Events in 2024

toolbox and the globe
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UN-compiled circular economy toolbox helps countries accelerate their Nationally Determined Contributions

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WCEF2023 Summary Report is here!

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Engage the youth and regenerate nature – strong messages from the World Circular Economy Forum

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How popular is the circular economy with Nordic consumers?  

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Nordic circular solutions tackle biodiversity loss

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Revolution and the WCEF

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Call for WCEF2023 Studio applications

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Five reasons why companies should set science-based targets for nature

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Circular economy already reshaping working life, building new skills on top of existing ones

Tv screen showing the WCEF2023 logo
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WCEF2023 website is launched!

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WCEF2022 brought real results – major steps to accelerate the circular economy in Africa

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Call for Expo Area stand hosts at WCEF2023

What is it about?

In a world ravaged by the climate crisis, diminishing natural resources and biodiversity loss, growth of the economy and well-being can no longer be based on the wasteful use of natural resources and on buying and owning more and more new goods. We need smarter economic models that will not stop consumption but transform it, making it more sustainable.

The old ways of achieving success are no longer working. We should therefore be among the first countries to make the transition to a fair and competitive 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  in which everyone can use, create and benefit financially from services that are based on sharing, renting and recycling.

The changes are affecting the entire world and the direction for the future needs defining without delay. What we need now is a reform of the world economy – no more and no less. Finland can make a bigger contribution than its size would merit by paving the way for pioneering circular economy solutions across the world.

What do we do?

We are continuing Sitra’s award-winning work on the circular economy. Our current aim is to accelerate the transition to a fair and competitive circular economy. We provide information, tools and solutions for the implementation of this change, which will also aid the reconstruction following the coronavirus crisis in Finland and Europe.

Another goal of ours is to increase the understanding of the positive and negative environmental effects of digitisation and make decision-makers aware of this information. We will show them what kinds of digital solutions can promote the circular economy.

We are also accelerating the development of circular economy solutions created by Finnish companies and businesses and promoting these to the rest of the world. We are developing tools that companies can use to establish circular economy business models and investigating how business could in future be based on sharing instead of ownership.

But acting in Finland alone is not enough – we aim to speed up the global transition to a fair circular economy with both Finnish operators and international organisations.

Who participates?

This is about a fundamental change in the way society functions. In addition to boosting recycling, many other things will also have to be done responsibly: the production of recyclable raw materials and the ways we trade and consume. We therefore work in co-operation with many other sectors of society to develop a circular economy. Businesses, central government and organisations are among those involved.

Finland is known as a pioneer of the circular economy. However, circular economy solutions that work well here are not enough to ensure change unless they spread internationally. The trade and development policy of Finland and the EU and the work of development banks and other parties operating in developing countries can all enable a quicker global transition to a circular economy.

What have we achieved?

The world’s first national road map to a circular economy was drawn up under the leadership of Sitra in 2016. The road map, updated in 2019, plotted Finland’s route to achieving a circular economy by 2025. Its main points of focus were on the role of public administration as an enabler, on the encounters of different societal operators and on mutual co-operation between companies.

In the transition to a carbon-neutral society, circular economy expertise will be required in all sectors of society and at all workplaces. Since 2017, we have funded the development of circular economy education across the whole education system in Finland to the tune of almost 4 million euros.

According to a study carried out by Sitra, the circular economy can increase the value of our national economy by at least 3 billion euros by 2030. To help Finnish companies and industry seize this opportunity, we have developed practical tools to enable them to make their business carbon-neutral.

The  World Circular Economy Forum, organised in Helsinki for the first time in June 2017, is our most important international circular economy event and a showcase of Finnish circular economy expertise to the world. The 2018 forum was held in Yokohama in Japan before returning to Helsinki in 2019. In 2020, the forum was organised completely virtually, as WCEFonline. In 2021, WCEF+Climate event took place in the Netherlands and online in April, and the annual main event WCEF2021 was organised online from Toronto, Canada in September. WCEF2022 focused on Africa for the first time and was organised in Kigali, Rwanda. This year, WCEF2023 returns to Helsinki

Sitra was honoured as the leading public-sector circular economy actor in the world in the Circulars Awards competition at the World Economic Forum in 2018.

Publications

toolbox and the globe
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Building circularity into Nationally Determined Contributions

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WCEF2023 Summary Report

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WCEF2022 Summary Report

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The impact of the circular economy on jobs and skills

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Sustainable growth with circular economy business models

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Tackling root causes

WCEF logo
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WCEF2021 summary report

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Options to Incorporate Circular Economy Provisions in Regional Trade Agreements

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How does the circular economy change jobs in Europe?

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Rethinking ownership

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Effects of the Circular Economy on Jobs

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WCEFonline Summary

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Trading services for a circular economy

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Ten seeds for a circular ecosystem

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How to create a national circular economy road map

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Pulp and paper in a net-zero transition

Events

Famous monuments from Brussels in green colour along with the WCEF2024 logo
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WCEF2024 in Brussels

Brussels, Belgium, Monday – Thursday, Apr 15 – Apr 18
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World Circular Economy Forum 2023

Helsinki, Tuesday – Friday, May 30 – Jun 02
Carbo boats with an EU logo
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Advancing circular trade: Next steps for the EU and its partners

Brussels, Tuesday, May 31
Animals looking at a quarry.
Webinar

Tackling root causes: halting biodiversity loss through the circular economy

Monday, Jun 13
Joukko eläimiä katsoo louhosta.
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Roundtable: halting biodiversity loss through the circular economy

Brussels, Tuesday, May 31
Person riding a bike on the globe, with stars in the sky and the WCEF Side Event logo
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The France-Finland conference on the circular economy 2022

Helsinki, Tuesday, May 17
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Launch event

Report launch: Prospects for transitioning from a linear to a circular economy in developing Asia

Tuesday, Mar 01
Webinar

Trade in circularity: Perspectives of developing and transition economies

Thursday, Dec 02
Webinar

EU Circular Talks: Scale up circular solutions to reach the 1,5-degree target

Saturday, Nov 06
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Ecological equals economical – A deep dive into circular business models

Thursday, Sep 30
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Event

Biodiversity as a circular business opportunity – WCEF2021 Accelerator Session

Wednesday, Sep 15
watch live live watch recording
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Event

Opportunities and challenges of a data-based circular economy: a systemic view on traceability – WCEF2021 Accelerator Session

Wednesday, Sep 15
watch live live watch recording
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The benefits of measuring eco-industrial parks – WCEF2021 Accelerator Session

Wednesday, Sep 15
watch live live watch recording
Earth with one normal half and the other half with black and green outlines
Webinar

Data as an ingredient of circular business

Wednesday, May 12
watch live live watch recording
WCEF 2021 Kanada
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World Circular Economy Forum 2021

Monday – Wednesday, Sep 13 – Sep 15
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EU Circular Talks: Circular business models at the heart of EU’s new Circular Economy Action Plan 

Thursday, Mar 25

Projects

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Finnish road map to a circular economy 2016-2025

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Most interesting companies in the circular economy in Finland 2.1

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Technology industry growth from a circular economy

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Regional road map to a circular economy

World Circular Economy Forum WCEF
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The World Circular Economy Forum WCEF

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Competence and training centre for industrial symbiosis in Kemi-Tornio

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The sprint towards a circular economy for the built environment

Landscape with hills, buildings, animals, balloons, circles and the text "Inspiring circular economy solutions and the map of the world with Africa in the middle
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Inspiring circular economy solutions from Africa 

Hankkeet

Tools for estimating the effects of the circular economy on jobs

Pahvilaatikko, jonka sisältä nousee vaaleansininen rinkula
Hankkeet

The best circular consumer practices in the electronic goods sector

Rahtilaivoja, joiden kuljettamissa konteissa EU:n logo
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The circular economy and trade policy

Hankkeet

Doughnut economics in Finland

Ended projects

2015-2023

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Circular economy teaching for all levels of education

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LOOP Ventures accelerator for the circular economy

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The most interesting initiatives taken by municipalities to support the circular economy

PROJECTS

Low-carbon and circular economy accelerator for public procurements

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Fields into carbon sinks: Carbon Action pilot

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Nutrients in urine: waste them or use them?

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Synthetic biology as a driver of the circular economy

PROJECTS

Farmidata

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Circular economy business from wood

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Urban Farm Lab

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Public and private mobility services to be offered side by side

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Mobility services in Northern Finland to improve through co-operation

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Spreading the Shared Table model of community food assistance

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Ultima – A circular economy restaurant

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The circular economy in sport

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SERRA – Raw materials from waste electrical equipment

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A regional sustainable food system

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Maximising the value of cyprinids

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Foodhub in the Uusimaa region

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The battery ecosystem of the future

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Economic policy instruments for a circular economy

WCEF plus climate
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WCEF+Climate

Thursday – Friday, Apr 15 – Apr 16
WCEF 2021 Kanada
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World Circular Economy Forum 2021

Monday – Wednesday, Sep 13 – Sep 15
Person following a virtual WCEFonline event and holding a coffee cup
projects

WCEFonline

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World Circular Economy Forum 2019

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World Circular Economy Forum 2018

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World Circular Economy Forum 2017

Contact us

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Kari Herlevi
Project Director, Global collaboration, Sustainability solutions
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Tuula Sjöstedt
Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs
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Tim Forslund
Specialist, Nature and the economy
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Riku Sinervo
Specialist, Nature and the economy
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Eero Jalava
Senior Lead, Global collaboration, Sustainability solutions
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Lotta Toivonen
Specialist, Biodiversity and everyday life
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Laura Järvinen
Senior Lead, Biodiversity and everyday life
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Emma Sairanen
Project Coordinator, Global collaboration, Sustainability solutions

What's this about?