Helsinki champions circular economy for climate resilience and job creation


Helsinki has hosted the World Circular Economy Forum, stressing the importance of shifting from linear to circular economy.

Headed by Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen, city authorities noted that circular practices include recycling and reuse of products, which saves resources and energy, and minimises waste.

Helsinki pointed out that circular economy can help us face the effects of climate change by increasing self-sufficiency of communities and nations.

City authorities noted that Helsinki’s initiative aimed at minimising food waste creates jobs and reduces energy consumption and waste by redistributing surplus food from schools.

Attendants of the forum stressed the importance of adopting new policies, regulations and laws to support the economic transition, adding that voluntary initiatives and actions are valuable but insufficient.

They called for system-wide change and expressed hope that businesses, governments, NGOs and individuals will work together on new solutions and approaches to issues and challenges that we face.

Organisers of the forum warned that “the circular economy tolerates no sweatshops” and stressed the importance of protecting workers’ rights.

They added that the transition to a circular economy “is just as much about human behaviour as it is about services, technology and novel solutions.” As an example, they noted that reuse of clothes is already popular in Finland and made easier by availability of second-hand stores.