Challenges of industrial circular economy

Challenges of industrial circular economy from the viewpoint of Finnish industry

Feedback from the 2018 Industrial Workshop

Circular economy has a strong presence in the discussions of industrial and innovation policies in Finland.
However, the key challenges of industrial circular economy have not been systematically assembled across
lines of business to support decision-making. Therefore, in summer of 2018, the Circular Economy Centre
invited industry representatives to participate in a process with the objective of identifying the most significant
challenges that the development of industrial circular economy faces in Finland. The pro-cess was restricted
to the fields of processing, mining, energy and the chemical industry. Service-sector companies from the
fields of industrial circular economy, recycling and the environment were also included.

In the first phase of the industrial circular economy challenges process, challenges in developing circular
economy were identified across lines of business. Company-specific challenges were assembled with the
help of a mapping form. The survey was responded to by 16 companies and 46 challenges in total were
accumulated. On 14 September 2018, the survey responses were reviewed in the Industrial Circular
Economy Challenges workshop in Kemi with 28 company experts attending, for example, from the metal,
forest, mining, energy and technology industry and service-sector companies of circular economy. This
summary of the report presents the most essential results of the workshop.

Six themes shared across industry business lines, feedback from the 2018 Industrial Workshop :

1. Specification challenge of by-products and waste and confusion of practices

2. Need to open the by-product market widely by the actors’ shared measures

3. Heavy bureaucracy of international waste transports

4. Time limit of three years for the utilisation of waste

5. Need to jointly process waste matters across organisation and business lines

6. Need to clarify matters related to the ownership of waste

Other enablers of circular economy highlighted in the workshop:

1. An approach to the challenges of circular economy based on arguments founded on technical or other
facts without excessive focus on the interpretation of legal terms

2. Significance of parties building circular economy business and other networks and that of door openers

3. A generic database operating from the perspective of its utilisers

4. Better activation of cities, municipalities and government administration in joint development projectsn

5. Building new cooperation and development networks

The summary will be distributed as widely as possible to circular economy decision-makers in Finland in
January 2019. The summary will also be translated into English to be distributed widely to EU-level decision-
makers in early 2019. The report of the Industrial Circular Economy Challenges process and workshop will
be published in spring 2019.


Further information:

Tuomas Pussila 
Programme Manager, Industrial Circular Economy, Kemin Digipolis Oy
+358 50 461 1236