Circular economy

Waste and industrial side streams are playing an ever more significant role as raw materials. They complement the raw material base of the bioeconomy and reduce the environmental load by making it possible to use less natural biomass.

In a sustainable bioeconomy, waste and industrial side streams play a significant role as raw materials. They complement the raw material base of the bioeconomy and and reduce the environmental load by making it possible to use less natural biomass. Thanks to Finland's high level of automation and process expertise, it has been a forerunner in developing sustainable bioeconomy operating models and technologies. This exciting field is growing rapidly.

Finland’s pulp and paper industry is a prime example of a major industry where almost all the materials and side streams generated during wood processing are already utilised, either as many different kinds of products or to generate renewable energy.

In addition to building up a sustainable carbon-neutral bioeconomy by making better use of forest biomass, Finland is actively bringing the concept of the circular economy into other key areas. For instance, machinery and electronic equipment should be designed so that they or their different materials and components can be recovered for reuse. Recycled materials would also improve the raw material self-sufficiency of industry in a world in which the prices and availability of virgin raw materials are often volatile. Greater recycling efficiency will also create opportunities for new players and businesses.

Building a circular economy involves much more than just recycling waste. It means radical changes ranging from the choice of raw materials, through product design and new service concepts, to the wider use of side streams from industry as raw materials for other businesses.