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What does Circular Economy Goes East and West do?

Carbon neutrality and solutions in accordance with circular economy are central objectives in enterprise and industrial policies of the EU, as well as of Finland and its regions. However, the share of business activities in accordance with circular economy has remained under five percent in Finland during 2013-2019. According to research studies, broad multi-actor collaboration and impartial coordination of activities is the key for achieving systemic transformation toward circular economy.

The project Circular Economy Goes East and West aims to support and facilitate such systemic transformation of circular economy at Uusimaa Region, with such means as broad multi-actor collaboration, cocreation,and impartial coordination. The project is coordinated by Laurea University of Applied Sciences, and other partners are business development companies Posintra, Keuke and Novago.

The objective of the project is to facilitate and accelerate the realization of business opportunities in accordance with circular economy and the building up of a circular economy business ecosystem at Uusimaa Region. The project’s business development companies will develop business ecosystems in accordance with their specific focus areas, and Laurea will coordinate and integrate the different parts of the project into a coherent whole. Thoroughly planned networking and stakeholder engagement within the project creates effective synergy benefits and prevents overlapping activities. The project’s results and best practices will be disseminated, scaled up and implemented into practice together with Laurea, the development companies and relevant stakeholders.

In this project, the focus areas for the business development companies are soil materials (Posintra), renovation (Keuke), and plastics (Novago). Development of varying business ecosystems and stakeholder engagement within the project will create added value for the companies at Uusimaa Region. The project purports to develop the economic structures of Uusimaa Region in accordance with circular economy,which advances competitiveness of companies and creates new jobs, business opportunities, innovations, and exports. Local companies and other stakeholders will be integrated into the project network, and the development of circular economy ecosystems will continue also after the project. The project aims for national impact over several regions, for the project’s best practices will be scaled up and implemented into several business areas around Finland.The best practices will be transferred e.g. via stakeholder engagement (incl. relevant networks) and via thematic specifications to the Circular Economy Roadmap of the Uusimaa region. The operations and procedures of Laurea and the business development companies will be developed according to the project’s findings and results, which will further advance the establishment of a circular economy ecosystem at Uusimaa Region, and also its replication into other regions. The project combines uniquely varying business areas and competences, which produces knowledge, know-how and concrete solutions for achieving systemic transformation of circular economy. In the long run, the solutions will be beneficial for the whole Finland.Horizontal principles are widely supported by the project. Circular economy is ecological at its core as it enhances sustainable production and use of materials, which also bring economic benefits. Local pilots boost the local businesses and improve the vitality and wellbeing of the region.