Arctic Smartness strategy

Circular economy as the basis of sustainable growth

TARGET: To reinforce Lapland’s role as a pioneer in the circular economy and to support the transition of companies towards resource-wiser operations

There is a long history of strong public-private partnership in Lapland to promote business based on the circular economy. The green transition and the mitigation of climate change require a shift towards more energy and material efficient operations, in which circular economy solutions play a key role. The circular economy is an opportunity for Lapland to establish sustainable economic growth. The transition to a carbon-neutral and circular economy creates new jobs and new business opportunities for sustainable solutions. Also from the perspective of self-reliance, the crossover to a circular economy is a necessity.

SMEs need expertise and tools for the deployment of circular economy-based business models as well as for the development of production and services that are less carbon-based. The transition of companies to a low-carbon operation must be accelerated by the design of sustainable products and services and the application of digital solutions and technologies to production.

For Lapland’s industry, the circular economy is a possibility to develop industrial production to make it more resource-efficient. In the mining industry, for example, the circular economy enables the wider use of extracted soils and the recycling of process water. In the forestry industry, circular economy principles have long been implemented, for example, in the design of wood fibre-based products and the production of bioenergy.

The municipalities are in a key position as enablers of the circular economy, as many matters that are determined in municipalities are essential from the perspective of transitioning to the circular economy. Municipalities can promote a more sustainable recycling of materials through, for example, decisions related to construction, waste management or public catering services. By developing circular economy solutions in accordance with the principles of a just circular economy, people’s wellbeing and inclusion in society are also promoted. Municipalities play a strong role in promoting a just circular economy.

Examples of development packages:

  • Promoting industrial symbioses
  • Developing digital platforms and services for the circulation of products/services/materials
  • Building the expertise and renewal of SMEs inthe transition to a carbon-neutral economy
    – Promoting circular economy business models
    – Carbon footprint calculation-based tools and emission reduction paths
    – Technology solutions in the development of material and energy efficiency (e.g. robotics, 3D and automation)
    – Planning, testing and design of new bio-based products
    – Utilisation of production side streams in various industries
  • Furthering the circular economy in construction
  • Developing services in sustainable mobility
  • Building collaboration in the region for the facilitation of the circular economy among companies, municipalities, and research and education operators

Check out also