A seminar was held on Wednesday in Digipolis with the topic "Circular economy in the earthworks of municipalities".
The seminar heard a number of comments on the utilisation of circular economy in the everyday life of industry.
The speakers from business and industry included Martti Hintikka (Ecolan), Jukka Toivanen (Veljekset Toivanen), Taisto Saari (Stora Enso) and Juha Mustaniemi (Destia). Juha Ylimaunu, Environmental Director at Outokumpu, who participated in the seminar, stated the following on the significance and potential of the circular economy:
“Outokumpu is a forerunner on circular economy, as the Tornio plants utilising recycled steel consists the largest material-recycling unit in Europe.
Due to the large volumes, side streams still require a lot of further development and have considerable potential. For example, the slags of the Tornio plants have already been largely productised. Although this is not our core business, we are talking about a million ton every year. This requires partners that take care of productisation, , handling and marketing. And, of course, we need the customers and a functioning market.”
At the seminar, Ramboll's unit manager Marjo Koivulahti (Environmental Geo-technology R&D) reported on the utilisation of recycled materials in the UUMA3 programme and, on behalf of the Ministry of the Environment, on the content of the Mara and Masa Decrees (environmental approval of renewable materials).
Pekka Kämäräinen from Lapland University of Applied Sciences reported on the testing and functional measurement of recycled materials.
Timo Tirkkonen from the Finnish Transport Agency spoke about the design and procurement processes of recycled materials.
The speakers from Digipolis included the chair of the seminar, Seppo Ahola, and the Director of the Circular and Bio Economy Centre, Kari Poikela.
Ahola recounted the utilisation of recycled materials in the construction of pedestrian and bicycle ways: Kemi is a pioneer on the European scale in using industry side and recycled materials in road structures and in preparing for smart roads, and in the potential uses for a learning, development and testing platforms. Poikela spoke of the Circular and Bio Economy Centre as an enabler for development.