Green Deal is a voluntary fixed-term agreement by which solutions are sought to climate challenges, loss of biodiversity, overconsumption of natural resources and promotion of a circular economy in Finland. The agreement is concluded between the State and the business sector. Agreements can also be concluded with public bodies such as government agencies and local governments. Green Deals bring together parties that have a key role in achieving the desired change.
Green Deals can enhance or complement the implementation of current legislation. They can also set more ambitious targets than those laid down by law and contribute to achieving certain targets without further regulation. The agreements offer a more flexible model than legislation for seeking the most efficient, effective and topical solutions for reaching the common goals.
The parties to the agreements make ambitious commitments that aim to achieve environmentally and socially significant impacts. Green Deals seek results that can be reached in a relatively short term. The aim is to produce added value compared to the current situation by seeking new solutions and operating models for certain selected challenges among the parties to the agreement. The measures to be taken by the parties to achieve the objectives and the practices for monitoring the progress towards the targets are recorded in the agreement.
Green Deals and the commitments made in these are part of Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development introduced by the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development. Companies and public bodies undertake to promote the objectives and actions set out in the agreements by making a commitment approved by the ministries on the Sitoumus2050 website.
Green Deals concluded by the Ministry of the Environment
Plastic Carrier Bag Agreement
- Parties: Ministry of the Environment and Finnish Commerce Federation
- Period of validity: 2016–2025
The aim is to make sure that Finland reaches the targets to reduce the consumption of plastic carrier bags in the EU Directive on packaging and packaging waste. By the end of 2025, no more than 40 bags per person per year should be used.
The agreement has been successful as the use of plastic carrier bags is now decreasing. In 2019 the use of carrier bags covered by the reduction target of the Plastic Carrier Bag Agreement was 63 bags per person, which was 5 bags less than in 2018. This means that Finland had achieved the target of no more than 90 bags per person for 2019 set in the EU Packaging Waste Directive. Despite the increase in customer visits, the decoupling between the number of visits and the use of plastic carrier bags took place in about a year from signing the Plastic Carrier Bag Agreement. In the past couple of years the decrease has been slower, and in 2021 62 bags per person were used. Further action will be needed to ensure that the decrease will continue and the target for 2025 will be met.
Green Deal climate agreement between the automotive sector and the State
- Parties: Ministry of Transport and Communications and Ministry of the Environment and Association of Automobile Industry in Finland and Finnish Central Organisation for Motor Trades and Repairs AKL
- Period of validity: 2018–2025
The agreement aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The average carbon dioxide emissions of newly registered cars and vans should be reduced by at least 4% a year and the proportion of vehicles suitable for high percentages of biofuel should be increased, especially in the heavy vehicle fleet. The purpose of the agreement is to promote the wider use of other cars powered by alternative fuels. The aim is to increase their proportion of newly registered vehicles to at least 25% by the end of 2025. Another aim is to lower the average age of the vehicle fleet and the average age of passenger cars being scrapped by 1.5% a year.
Green Deal on the development of national waste oil management
- Parties: Ministry of the Environment and Finnish Environmental Industries YTP
- Period of validity: 2019–2024
The aim of the agreement is to collect waste oil more efficiently in all parts of Finland and to increase the recycling of waste oil. In 2010–2016 the average of about 36,000 tonnes of waste lubricating oil per year was treated. The average share of recycled waste lubricating oil of all treated waste lubricating oil has been 74%. The aim of the agreement is that the average volume of treated waste oil stays at least on this level and that the proportion of recycling in the treatment rises to at least 80% as from 2020.
Green Deal for the non-road mobile machinery sector
- Parties: Ministry of the Environment and Association of Finnish Technical Traders
- Period of validity: 2019–2025
The aim of the agreement is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from non-road mobile machinery. It is implemented by increasing the supply of fully electric and other low emission mobile machinery and by encouraging their wider utilisation. New solutions and other means are applied to support measures that reduce carbon dioxide emissions from non-road mobile machinery. The process to implement the agreement includes a freely accessible online training package Low-emission non-road mobile machinery. The focus is on ways to reduce emissions from non-road mobile machinery from the perspectives of the machine operator, contractor and customer.
Green Deal on sustainable demolition
- Parties: Ministry of the Environment and Finnish Property Owners Rakli
- Period of validity: 2020–2025
The main objective of the agreement is to increase the reuse and recycling of demolition materials by promoting the functioning of the markets for demolition materials from repair and demolition projects. The aim is that by 2025 a demolition audit has been carried out before applying for the demolition permit in 75% of the repair and demolition projects carried out by the property owner members of Rakli. The agreement also aims to strengthen the knowledge base on demolition materials and their utilisation and to develop tools, guidelines and data transfer to increase the reuse and recycling of demolition materials.
Emission-free worksites – Green Deal on sustainable procurements
- Original parties: Ministry of the Environment and Senate Properties and cities of Espoo, Helsinki, Turku and Vantaa. Helsinki Region Environmental Services HSY, Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd and, in part, Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency joined the agreement later.
- Period of validity: 2020–2030
The objective of the agreement is to reduce emissions generated in the worksites of the contracting entities such as cities, municipalities, government agencies or other public sector procurement organisations through public procurements on a long-term basis. The aim is also to boost the introduction of new low-emission technologies. By 2025, all new worksites of the contracting entities should be fossil-free and 100% of the non-road mobile machinery used in the worksites of the contracting entity and vehicles used for the internal transport operations of the worksites should be powered by fossil-free fuels. In addition, at least 20% of them should be powered by electricity, biogas or hydrogen. By 2030, 100% of the non-road mobile machinery used in the worksites of the contracting entity and vehicles used for internal transport operations of the worksites and for transport to and from the worksites should be powered by fossil-free fuels. At least 50% of them should be powered by electricity, biogas or hydrogen.
Reducing harmful substances in procurements for early childhood education and care – Green Deal on sustainable procurements
- Parties: Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Ministry of the Environment, cities of Helsinki, Tampere and Vantaa and procurement organisations Tuomi Logistiikka and Monetra Oulu
- Period of validity: 2020–2025
The objective of the agreement is to reduce children’s exposure to harmful substances in early childhood education and care through public procurements. Another aim is to increase the procurement of products and services that carry the Nordic Ecolabel. Under the agreement common procurement criteria are created which the contracting parties will use in their future procurements.
Green Deal on plastics in construction
- Parties: Ministry of the Environment and Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT, Finnish Plastics Industries Federation, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Finnish Hardware Association RASI, Finnish Electrotechnical Trade Association STK, Association of Finnish Technical Traders TKL, Chemical Industry Federation of Finland and Finnish Environmental Industries YTP
- Period of validity: 2020–2027
The objective of the agreement that aims at a more efficient circular economy of plastics in construction is to increase the separate collection of plastics used in construction and its supply chain. The aim is to improve their preparation for recycling: enhance the reuse and recycling of plastic film and increase the use of plastics made from recycled materials in construction and its supply chain. Another aim is to optimise and minimise the use of plastic film and increase the use of recycled plastic film in the production of plastic film. By the end of 2027, 40% of the raw material used in the production should be recycled plastic film.
- Motiva: Plastics in construction training package (in Finnish)
Green Deal on the treatment of urban waste water
- Parties: Ministry of the Environment and Finnish Water Utilities Association and Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities
- Period of validity: 2021–2027
The aim of the agreement is to reduce the load on the environment caused by nutrients and harmful substances in urban waste water. To reduce the environmental burden, these are removed at waste water treatment plants in accordance with the provisions set out in their environmental permits. When waste water treatment plants operate in accordance with the provisions of their environmental permits, they also develop competence and new practices that make it possible for them to operate on a voluntary basis even better than required by the permit. The objectives of the agreement apply to all plants that treat waste water from an area with more than 2,000 residents. Smaller waste water treatment plants subject to an environmental permit are also encouraged to take action to reduce nutrient loading caused by waste water.
The aim by 2027 is that in waste water treatments plants that treat waste water from an area with more than 10,000 residents 90% of the results of the plants will be better than the levels set in the environmental permit. For plants that treat waste water from an area with less than 10,000 residents the target is 80%. The quantitative national target is that in treatment plants covered by the agreement the total actual biochemical oxygen demand per year does not exceed 2,600 tonnes, phosphorus load 100 tonnes, ammoniacal nitrogen load 400 tonnes and nitrogen load 2,800 tonnes.
Green Deal on plastic packets
- Parties: Ministry of the Environment and Finnish Food and Drink Industries Federation ETL, Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa, Finnish Grocery Trade Association PTY and Finnish Packaging Association
- Period of validity: 2022–2027
The aim of the agreement is to reduce the numbers of single-use cups for beverages and certain food packets made wholly or partly from plastic. The aim is to reduce the amount of plastic litter in the environment, especially on seashores, and to promote a circular economy.