Bioeconomy and Circular Economy

Chemical Industry supports the development of bioeconomy and circular economy as they enable sustainable economic growth. We need new technologies, new ways of working, and an operating environment which boosts the development. Special attention should be paid to high-tech competence, co-operation and the increase of export market.

Chemical sector is one of the key actors in bioeconomy and circular economy. Chemical know-how is required when managing substances, and there are few supply chains in the entire manufacturing business that do not involve chemistry.

  • “Waste = resource” and life cycle thinking should form the basis of policy making: sustainable and smart use of all resources should be encouraged
  • The aim should be to establish a level playing field and well-functioning raw material markets
  • It is crucial to remove regulatory barriers that prevent the development of circular economy
  • Public procurement and funding are important tools to catalyse early stage development and market making
  • Indicators should focus on measuring how efficiently the use of resources is carried out instead of measuring the absolute amount of resources used
  • The focus should be in high-tech solutions and cooperation, and reinforcement of export

Focus on raising the target level

In Finland the discussion on bioeconomy has been centered around issues related to the use of forest biomass. However this is only one important aspect of bioeconomy. We should broaden the view and think big enough: put more focus on high value-added products, innovation activities, industrial symbioses and market development.

Policy makers and the public sector play important roles

Bioeconomy and circular economy are cyclic and cross-sectoral by nature. Smart regulation can be an enabler, and public procurement can generate pull to create markets. Evolution of circular economy and raw material use should be based on sustainable and market driven principles. The use of side streams should be encouraged, and the focus of public funding should be in removing barriers and in concrete actions such as boosting of investments, education, and the work of R&D&I networks.

Pia Vilenius
Senior Advisor, Bioeconomy and Circular Economy
M. Sc. (Env. Sc. & Tech.)

+358 40 413 6340

pia.vilenius­@kemianteollisuus.fi