January 11, 2023

Press release from Business Finland

30 sessions, 170 speakers, over 1000 attending online from all over the world while hundreds of people were physically present at the Nordic Circular Summit in a repurposed old terminal building in Stockholm.

For real circular economy geeks, the Summit offered a fantastic learning opportunity to listen to circular economy rock stars ranging from Ken Webster to Nancy Bocken, Walter R. Stahel and Martijn Lopes Cardozo. Leading companies were naturally present, such as HoudiniStena RecyclingRester and 3stepIT, like were decision-makers from Janez Potočnik, Co-chair UNEP Environment International Resource Panel to Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, the Icelandic Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation and Andrea Liverani, Lead Specialist of the World Bank.

Let’s put this all in context: In 2022, Ethica and Business Finland have been the Finnish Managing Partners of the Nordic Circular Hotspot, which essentially is a platform for a 10-year market transition strategy in the Nordics.

If you want to be part of this frontrunners’ group, you can become a Partner and join various Transition groups consisting of companies and organisations across the Nordics. The aim of these Transition groups is to create real action and collaboration projects to support and speed up participating companies’ circular actions.

Back to the Summit! Out of the three main themes of the summit (1) Learning from crises 2) The state of transition 3) The future regenerative market, there was good representation from Finland throughout the three days. We  truly took over in various regenerative sessions running fours sessions with a number of Finnish speakers (e.g. Joonas Sirviö of Granulous and Kari Herlevi of Sitra) and sessions led by Ethica & Business Finland.

Now that you know the basic facts, let’s see what the actual key take-aways were:

  1. Even if you operate locally, the competition is global, and this includes the Nordics. Have you benchmarked your company against the Nordic competitors to make sure you stand in the frontline? The CE development develops quickly, and I can assure you that our neighbours are fearless to take the driving seat – if haven’t done so already. Finnish companies also need to make sure they direct enough resources for branding and marketing, one of the weak spots compared to other Nordic businesses.
  2. Businesses are moving towards a regenerative model, in which they seek to maximise positive environmental and social impact instead of just minimising negative impact of their operations. Is your circular strategy updated according to this standard?
  3. “The Finns are not so much interested in the Nordic collaboration, but go directly to the EU”, was a view I got from a Nordic colleague. Agree or disagree? I think this is a good moment to scan for Nordic collaboration and funding opportunities!
  4. From the investment point of view Finland and other Nordic countries can form an attractive destination for investments from all over the world. We are ranked high in sustainability and we are an innovative and trustworthy partner for long-term cooperation. Green transition is speeding up and Finland can and should take its share of the rapidly growing market.

All in all, Nordic Circular Summit was the place to be to update yourself on the latest development and future trends.

If you didn’t make it this year, you can still watch the entire Summit through recordings, join conversations at the Nordic Circular Arena, and mark the Summit 2023 taking place on November 22-24  in Reykjavik to your diary.

Head of Consulting & Co-Founder of Ethica & Managing Partner Nordic Circular Hotspot

Anne Raudaskoski is one of the circular economy and circular design pioneers in Finland. She is the Head of Consulting and Co-Founder at Ethica, an internationally awarded circular economy consultancy (The Circulars 2016) with a vision of a regenerative world.

In her work, Raudaskoski develops circular business strategies and solutions for client companies. Currently she is leading the national Circular Design programme for 50 Finnish companies.


Originally published on 11 January.

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