Päijät-Häme region, Finland
In 2016, the Finnish government and launched a national roadmap to a circular economy – Leading the cycle: Finnish road map to a circular economy 2016-2025 under the leadership of SITRA, The Finnish Innovation Fund. This made Finland the first country in to world to present such a roadmap. It describes detailed actions that can accelerate the transformation of Finland into a competitive circular economy. The roadmap highlights best practices and pilot examples that can easily be replicated and provides added value on a national scale.15 The roadmap provides an outline for the transition, whilst the Päijät-Häme Circular Economy roadmap, a joint regional Circular Economy strategy covering nine municipalities, illustrates aims and actions at the regional level. The regional roadmap was launched in October 2017 as part of Päijät-Häme’s regional economic strategy for 2018–2021. The drafting process was coordinated by Lahti University of Applied Sciences, in close cooperation with the regional council and local stakeholders, such as regional and municipal authorities, academia, a regional development corporation, as well as public and private companies.
The roadmap is an attempt to solve the challenge of getting both public and private stakeholders from different sectors to develop a joint and holistic vision for the long-term regional development that is both sustainable and mutually beneficial.
Good practices and solutions
The roadmap is a good example of how regions can take local action for sustainability and develop context-specific needs and opportunity assessments, and integrate them into their general development strategy. Additionally, the co-creation process of developing the roadmap is also a good example of how to build recognition and acceptance for the actions outlined in the roadmap. The process allows regional stakeholders to define a common vision, regional aims and detailed action plans. This was made possible through workshops, discussions, and requesting comments from additional stakeholders through a survey and direct emails. Since input was gathered from across the region and provided by stakeholders from many different sectors, it created a foundation for successful implementation. The roadmap is also a living document; annually updated to involve new actors and opportunities. In currently includes five main themes, each with regional goals and actions. The overarching themes are:
• Closed loops of technical streams to create added value
• Sustainable business from bio-circular economy
• Towards energy self-sufficiency by sustainable transport and energy solutions
• Shared economy generates new consumption models and business opportunities
• Piloting and demonstrating innovative circular economy solutions
Outcomes & opportunities
The active involvement of local authorities and regional stakeholders have been key to the successful strategy process in Päijät-Häme. the circular economy roadmap has become part of the Päijät-Häme strategic regional plan and regional development programme 2018–2021, which is a measure of success.
Related SDG targets
- 7.A By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology.
- 17.6 Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism.
- 17.14 Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development.
Photo: © Joel Fulgencio / Unsplash
Project: Circular Baltic 2030