Helsinki plays host to World Circular Economy Forum

Circular economy

The World Circular Economy Forum 2023 will take place in Helsinki, Finland, from 30 May to 2 June 2023. The forum brings together leading circular economy players to present and seek business and government solutions to adapt our economic system to the limits of nature’s capacity.

The World Circular Economy Forum wants to accelerate a future that strengthens the well-being of nature. This year’s event will therefore focus on what circular economy solutions are best suited to preventing the loss of biodiversity. In a circular economy, materials and the value they hold are always reused.

The forum will also showcase change factors from around the world, build collaboration and harness the circular economy community to accelerate the change needed in the years ahead. It is widely known why the transition to a circular economy is imperative, but the world needs examples. The World Circular Economy Forum will focus on how to make the transition.

The event brings together businesses, financiers and young people in particular to explore the potential and bottlenecks of emerging circular economy solutions. The circular economy is now a global concern, but different types of solutions are needed in different parts of the world. The principle is, however, the same: to get more out of what is already there, with less waste and less impact on nature.

“It’s wonderful and important to bring together the world’s leading circular economy players in Helsinki,” Kari Herlevi, director of Sitra’s global cooperation on sustainability solutions, said. “Circular economy solutions can increase the resilience of societies to crises and build the foundations for future prosperity. We also have to act because the climate crisis and loss of biodiversity will not wait. Many circular economy solutions already exist, but by working together we can accelerate their adoption around the world.”

The main venue for the World Circular Economy Forum will be the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre. Its main event on 30 and 31 May will bring together more than 2,000 participants. In addition, nearly 40 partner events on different aspects of the circular economy will be organised on 1 and 2 June, both on-site in Helsinki and around the world.

The main programme of the World Circular Economy Forum will be broadcast live online, open to all and free of charge.  On-site participation is only possible for invited guests.

The City of Helsinki sees the circular economy as an important part of solving sustainability challenges and, as a major player, the city can also contribute to its promotion. Helsinki wants to be a platform for new circular economy innovations and business. The City of Helsinki’s Roadmap for Circular and Sharing Economy 2020 focuses on construction, procurement, green waste and the sharing economy and new business opportunities in the circular economy. Each priority area has its own targets.

The circular economy in construction is promoted in the Helsinki Circular Economy Cluster Program, which aims to support both circular economy innovation and business as well as climate goals. The Circular Economy Cluster Program already involves more than 100 construction industry players, from consultants and material manufacturers to large construction companies. One of the key ways to promote and scale up the circular economy is to try out new circular economy solutions in a real environment.

“Circular economy business models can be used to develop sustainable business and support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” Mira Jarkko, project manager for the circular economy cluster program, said. “Sustainable business is built on the circular economy. By working together, companies can develop circular economy solutions for all stages of the value chain. This will benefit all players in the sector.”

The World Circular Economy Forum has been held annually since 2017. The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra organised the first event to mark Finland’s centenary. Since then, the forum has also been held outside Finland in Japan, Canada, the Netherlands and Rwanda. This year, the main organisers of the forum are Sitra and Nordic Innovation. The City of Helsinki is a partner of the event.

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