Circular Economy is the term widely heard and frequently used especially in Europe, now more and more in China, North Africa, and Latin America. Nevertheless in spite of its popularity and almost habitual usage just a handful of people would be ready to explain its real meaning and significance for the world. Some would speak about efficient application of resources, others about better waste management and so on. While some people would just sarcastically smile and shake their heads as if saying – come on, so many terms have been invented for the past 50 years… and this one will pass too.
Very often we face total disagreement with this idea based on the assurance that profit wise no Circular Economy business model can work therefore hardly this idea can be widely accepted and implemented. The opponents of this pessimistic position on a contrary claim that Circular Economy is the only choice for the world to survive with all modern challenges that humanity faces. So, is it possible to “marry” the concept of Circular Economy with the profitability and competitiveness of the businesses? Are there countries which accepted the Circular Economy as the National Idea for their development? Our search brought us to SITRA – Finnish Fund operating under the country’s Parliament.
The major goal of the SITRA, supervised by the Board consisting of members of Parliament, can be better explained in their own words, sounding more like a motto – The future is made today. And it has occurred that these words are not just nice fashionable words, they describe real actions undertaken in Finland and this fund in particularly.
SITRA in the first place is focusing on bringing together problem solvers of challenges which we all face today, to build sustainable economy and to inspire the development of sustainable well-being. The Fund in many ways and from the different angles assists the implementation of Circular Economy in Finland and some other European countries. How do they do it? We spoke with Kari Herlevi, Senior Lead at Sitra, Circular Economy.
In a course of our interview we discussed many important topics focused on practicality of the Circular Economy concept and real life examples of its expansion, such as existing projects of Circular Economy in Finland, in particularly in food-water-energy nexus as well, ways of financing any innovations connected with Circular Economy, and of course we were very interested in comprehensive definition of how SITRA defines Circular Economy. (to be continued in part 2)