Talk with business leaders about future opportunities today and you are likely to hear the buzz words circular economy. In short, the concept means learning to use resources more efficiently and creating more value with what you have.
A circular economy seems to be the win-win approach everyone has been seeking. For companies, circular products and business models cut costs, manage risks and create new revenue. For societies, moving away from the current linear take-make-consume-throw away economy offers large benefits in tackling the climate crisis, reducing waste and creating jobs.
The numbers are impressive. For instance, a circular economy could bring estimated net savings of €600 billion to European companies. Circular solutions could also bridge as much as half of the emissions gap between current pathways and where we need to be to limit climate disruption.
If you are convinced already, what can you do now to seize the potential of the circular economy? The first thing might be to book tickets to Finland.
Finland may still be better known for its unlikely success in education, the highest density of heavy metal bands or weird words no one can pronounce. Leading on the circular economy might be the next big thing.
Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra was heavily involved in drafting a national circular economy roadmap with participation from an extensive cross-section of Finnish society. The roadmap has been widely recognised as one of the most comprehensive and advanced in the world.
Sitra has also been busy identifying 100 inspiring circular economy companies to mark the 100th birthday of independent Finland. The list includes Valtavalo, a company offering lighting service instead of lamps; Swap.com with an innovative way to facilitate trading second-hand goods online; RePack, a startup providing reusable packages for net stores; and Valtra, a company selling remanufactured tractor gears.
Booking tickets already? Make sure to be in Finland on 5–7 June. That is when global industry leaders and experts gather to the World Circular Economy Forum. With over 1,200 participants from around the world, the ground-breaking event showcases the best circular economy solutions from Finland and all over the world.
And you can experience heavy metal as well as strange Finnish words.