The economies of the future are circular

08.06.17 | News
WCEF2017
Photographer
Heidi Orava
Leasing rather than owning, composting clothing, product design which makes repairs easier. Sustainable consumption and production is a key area in Nordic environmental co-operation, and one which was repeated again and again by participants from over a hundred countries in discussions on sustainable circular solutions at the World Circular Economy Forum in Helsinki.

As the largest co-host of the World Circular Economy Forum from 5 to 7 June, the Nordic Council of Ministers put the spotlight on the best examples of where Nordic co-operation is driving the transition from a linear to a circular economy. The council of ministers’ efforts relating to sustainable textiles and a sustainable fashion industry were raised both in the Nordic Lounge and during the main session Circular Blueprints Gameshow - Pushing the Transition in the Nordics and Beyond, which sought to put together the puzzle of components required for an actual transition.

Swedish Minister for Financial Markets and Consumer Affairs Per Bolund said that Nordic citizens are aware of the problem, and are willing to act and demand political solutions.

“Combined with the fact that we have active groups of companies who want to help change this, this contributes to a growing consensus that gives us a mandate to act. Specifically, this relates to a review of the pricing of emissions and making sustainable choices profitable. These are areas in which taxation and other economic incentives are important tools,” said Bolund.

Co-operation creates change

Finnish Minister for Housing, Energy and the Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen stressed that international co-operation and knowledge sharing accelerates the circular development.

“Only by co-operating can we achieve the paradigm shift in our economies required for the transition to a circular economy. We cannot afford to let even a few materials be lost - they must be used in the most efficient way possible and reused. In this way we also generate continued prosperity,” Tiilikainen said.

According to the Kenyan Secretary of State for the Environment Alice Kaudia, Kenya and other African nations that are currently finalising their green growth strategies would benefit greatly from entering into partnerships with the Nordic Region in relation to green technology, research, and education.

“There is a need for knowledge sharing even at the business level - Nordic companies have better technology and a thirst for innovation that we can learn from,” said Kaudia.

You can read a more detailed article about the Circular Blueprints Gameshow session in the online magazine Green Growth the Nordic Way, or watch the entire session here.

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