On April 22, 2021, on World Earth Day, the first and only one of its kind Baltic Circular Economy Forum was held in St. Petersburg. The forum was focused on issues related to climate change, sustainable development and the possibilities of transition from a linear to a circular economy.
In the framework of the Baltic Circular Economy Forum LALAPETE project organized best practice sharing session “Circular Economy in Finland: best practices, solutions and lessons learnt”.
The moderator of the session was Mr. Janne Hirvonen - Team Leader - regional and economic cooperation - Consulate General of Finland, Saint Petersburg.
During the session leading institutions of Finland shared with Russian colleagues best solutions in the sphere of sustainable development.
Mr. Markku Heinonen - Development Director - City of Lappeenranta explained participants why Lappeenranta is The Green Leaf Winner and admitted what 100% of electricity used by the city is carbon dioxide-free. The City pays great attention to waste recycling and sustainable development learning.
Mrs. Johanna Rusanen – Managing director - Salpakierto Ltd presented participants the waste management system in Lahti. The waste management company owned by 10 municipalities reutilize almost 100% of municipal waste every year.
Mrs. Milla Bruneau - Executive director, Lahti – European Green Capital 2021 admitted that Lahti reduced the CO2 emissions from 11 tons per capita in 1990 to 2,6 tons per capita in 2021. Also, the quality of the air in the city center improved due to smart mobility and the reduction of traffic congestion.
Mr. Jarkko Levänen - Assistant professor of Sustainability Science - LUT University shared with the participants surveys in the field of the sustainable development in the dirtiest industries – textiles and metals. In these industries experts see a great business potential for sustainable and green development.
Mr. Maxim Balanev – Public representative in St. Petersburg – Agency for Strategic Initiatives, expert of LALAPETE project admitted that Russia is also interested in sustainability and there are also solutions that can be used together to develop a common green and sustainable future.
In general, more than 50 leading experts from Russia, Germany, Finland, Belgium took part in the forum. The experts discussed the possibilities of scaling St. Petersburg's solutions in terms of sustainable development to the regions of Russia and interaction with partners from other countries to implement solutions in the field of circular economy at the regional level. More than 1000 people watched the online broadcast of the forum.
The Baltic Circular Economy Forum was held with the support of the Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg, the Committee for Nature Management, Environmental Protection and Environmental Safety, the Committee for Industrial Policy, Innovation and Trade of St. Petersburg, the St. Petersburg Cluster of Clean Technologies for the Urban Environment, St. -Petersburg Development Foundation for SME Development, projects of “South-East Finland – Russia Cross Border Cooperation Program” – LALAPETE, Startup Connect, Twin Campus, , Cata3Pult.