Circular economy enables new business opportunities for the Finnish energy industry
Finland strives for a global frontrunner position in circular economy. The energy industry is a significant player in creating a sustainable economic system: in addition to leading us towards a low-carbon energy system by replacing fossil-based fuels with renewable energy, the energy industry also plays a key role in enabling circular economy in other industries. Producing a new product from any recycled material requires energy, as does transportation, too.
What is circular economy in the energy industry, then? This study provides both Finnish and international examples of circular economy practices in the energy industry and seeks further inspiration from the circular economy tactics of other industries. The study was funded by the Environmental Research Pool.
By comparing innovations between Finland and other countries, as well as between the energy industry and other industries, the study shows that the circular economy business potential for the Finnish energy industry lies particularly in the service business. Finnish energy companies are not lagging behind in the amount or quality of circular economy innovations in comparison to companies outside of Finland, however, foreign energy companies are more active in selling services for e.g. optimizing the use of energy. Instead, in Finland the long-term cooperation with different industries and municipalities in the form of CHP plants is evident.
To conclude, the report presents four guidelines, with which Finnish energy companies can actively promote circular economy and create new business.