Looking for hundred partners to promote sustainable development

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2021-05-20 13:26

Carbon-neutral Espoo is created in cooperation with companies and research institutes. The new ecosystem project will accelerate green transition.

Text: Petja Partanen
Published in Länsiväylä on 31 March 2021

Halting climate change is in the hands of cities that already account for more than half of the world’s population. Espoo intends to set an example for the rest of the world. 

Cities play a key role in combatting climate change. Espoo wants to act in the forefront of developing new solutions.

“Sustainable urban solutions are created in cooperation between cities, companies and the scientific community,” says Pasi Laitala, Director for Sustainable Development in Espoo. 

The sustainable development programme work started in Espoo in 2013 and has gained great momentum in less than ten years. 

“Dozens of companies, large and small, are already involved. We want to further strengthen this network,” Laitala says. 

Project Manager Mari Päätalo is in charge of the new project aiming to build a sustainable growth ecosystem in Espoo. One of its concrete objectives is to double the number of companies and other partners engaged in close cooperation. 

“Solutions that reduce emissions are made by companies. At the same time, jobs and business opportunities will be created,” says Mari Päätalo.

EU’s recovery funds put to good use

The ecosystem project will build cooperation to ensure that the EU’s COVID-19 recovery funding will be used as wisely as possible in the development work of companies, research institutes and the city. Finland is a net contributor to the COVID-19 recovery funding. The focus of funding, in excess of 2 billion euros, returning to Finland is on the so-called green transition. The green transition will cut emissions and create new technologies that will accelerate the transition away from the fossil economy. 

“Recovery money must be used for such development work that forms a source of significant economic added value and that will improve the long-term competitiveness of all of Finland,” says Pasi Laitala.

Espoo has good preconditions for this. Companies and the scientific community are able to create solutions to global challenges – and large companies have the resources to develop profitable business out of them. The city must be an active partner in this. The solutions needed to build carbon-neutral Espoo will be in high demand all over the world in the future.

Mari Päätalo says that companies of all sizes, from bicycle repair shops and solar panel installers to large publicly listed companies, are needed to strengthen the ecosystem.

“All companies that are able to offer citizens a better low-carbon everyday life are welcome to participate.”

“We want to turn Espoo into a development environment that attracts partners. We are also happy to hear new development ideas and cooperation initiatives,” says Pasi Laitala. 

Does your company have an idea for building sustainable Espoo?  You can reach Espoo’s Sustainable Development Team most easily by sending an e-mail to kestava@espoo.fi.

Ratkaisupolku kestävän kasvun ekosysteemeihin, RAKKE (Solution path to sustainable growth ecosystems) 

The project will build ecosystems of digitalisation and green transition together with 100 companies. Ongoing: 2021–2023. Project Manager: Mari Päätalo, mari.paatalo@espoo.fi