Circular economy in key sectors

How we implement the circular economy programme

Various stakeholders and sectors in society must adjust their operating methods and create innovations to make the circular economy a reality. In particular, there is significant potential for this in the real estate and construction sector as one of the largest consumers of natural resources.

Municipal and regional administrations are key players in the circular economy. They have considerable potential to promote services and solutions e.g. in urban planning and procurement that support the circular economy. Municipal and regions have helped to create cooperation between operator networks and ecosystems that support the circular economy and have collaborated to develop new solutions in actual operating environments.

What we do and where we are now:

1.  We will prepare a Green Deal on the circular economy.

  • The aim of the Green Deal on the circular economy is to promote the transition into a circular economy society in different sectors, companies, regions and municipalities. The operators can join the Green Deal with their own commitments. An analysis of material flows in Finland and scenarios will be prepared to support the assessment of the effectiveness of the objectives and measures. The work started in March 2022, led by the research institutes, and will continue until the summer of 2023. Almost all Finnish counties, major cities, key business and sectoral organisations, the largest forest sector companies and a good number of operators in the construction sector participate in this process. Responsible organisations: Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

2.  We will establish a national talent network to support the work of corporate, municipal, and regional ecosystems in promoting a carbon neutral circular economy society.

3. We will increase awareness and expertise related to the circular economy in the real estate and construction sectors.

  • We will implement the Circular Economy in Construction Growth Path together with Kasvu Open. This aim of the programme, targeted to companies working on the circular economy, is to offer support for the growth and development of construction sector companies that apply the principles of sustainable development in their operations. A total of 15 companies were selected to the programme that was implemented in April–October 2022 (; in Finnish). Responsible organisation: Ministry of the Environment.
  • In the real estate and construction sector the awareness of and expertise on the circular economy will be promoted as part of the Green Deal on the circular economy (in Finnish).

4. We will develop the land use planning principles and the guidance of construction and the use of premises to support the circular economy.

  • As part of the process to reform the Building Act (in Finnish) we set up a working group to develop the decrees that regulate the lifecycle characteristics of new buildings. The aim is to promote the long life, adaptability and high utilisation rate of buildings and make them easy to repair, demolish and transfer. The proposal of the experts for the content of the decrees will be ready in early 2023. Towards the end of 2022 we will launch a project to explore and promote the potential related to changing the purpose of use of buildings. The package of measures is also included in Finland’s national architectural policy programme 2022–2035 published in January 2022. Responsible organisation: Ministry of the Environment.