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All in one place: Sustainable circular economy business models for chemical industry companies

Carbon neutrality means taking a different view of the chemical industry. Sustainable and circular business models – Circular economy playbook for the chemical industry is a handbook for companies in the industry that have the ambition to combat climate change. The playbook serves as a tool for creating new sustainable business models. It approaches carbon neutrality through five future business models and several examples of businesses.

“The playbook provides essential information on how a chemical company can make its operations more sustainable and in the process open up completely new business opportunities. Companies are taking the climate challenge seriously, and many chemical companies became involved in the development of the playbook in a short space of time”, says Rasmus Pinomaa, Chemical Industry Federation of Finland project manager for the carbon-neutrality programme Carbon Neutral Chemistry 2045.

“The enthusiasm of chemical companies to be part of the project is an indicator not only of the commitment of companies, but also of the need for further information and collaboration across value chains. The playbook is a good start to this”, says Marika Ollaranta, head of Business Finland’s Bio and Circular Finland programme.

Business profitability is an essential precondition for corporate climate investment. For this reason, sustainable business models are the cornerstone on which total carbon neutrality can be built. The playbook enables companies to evaluate their activities and receive concrete help in creating new business models.

“It is wonderful that the industry is taking the goal of carbon neutrality seriously, and that is indeed what consumers expect. However, the necessary leaps forward in development cannot be made without adequate investment and a change in business models. Circular economy innovations that systematically drive this change must provide tools and support, especially during and after the coronavirus crisis”, says Sitra senior lead Jyri Arponen.

“The chemical industry plays an important role in making the circular economy possible in other fields also. It’s great to have had the opportunity to support industrial companies in making changes”, says Michael Gylling, senior consultant at Accenture.

The playbook of sustainable business models for the chemical industry is available for free download from the website of the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland, in Finnish and English: (link)

The chemical industry aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. Many chemical companies have also set themselves more ambitious targets than the industry’s shared carbon-neutrality target. A report on possible technologies to reduce emissions was published in January ( A roadmap for carbon neutrality will be completed in June. In October 2020, a study will be completed on the skilled personnel that chemical companies need to achieve carbon neutrality.

The playbook of sustainable business models for the chemical industry was commissioned by the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland, Business Finland and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, and is a guide to the sustainable development of business operations. The playbook was based on the chemical industry and Sitra’s Europe-wide work to promote the circular economy and Sitra’s handbook of circular economy business models for manufacturing companies. The work was carried out by Accenture. The playbook has been developed together with the following chemical industry companies: FP Pigments Oy, Kiilto Oy, Molok Oy, Oy Orthex Group Ab, ST1 Oy, Sulapac Oy, Teknikum Oy, Teknos Oy, Wiitta Oy, and the startup company accelerator Smart Chemistry Park.


Rasmus Pinomaa
Carbon Neutral Chemistry 2045 project manager, Chemical Industry Federation of Finland
+358 40 586 3705,

Jyri Arponen
Senior lead, Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra
+358 (294) 618 491,

Marika Ollaranta
Bio and Circular Finland programme director, Business Finland
+358 50 480 4611,

Sonja Ulma
Communications specialist, the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland
+358 44 340 7020,

Business Finland is a Finnish public operator that provides innovation financing and internationalisation services and promotes tourism and investment in Finland. The organisation employs 600 experts in 40 locations around the world, and 16 locations in Finland. Business Finland is part of the Team Finland network.

Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra is an active future-oriented organisation that studies, explores and involves partners from different sectors in open-minded experiments and changes. The focus of the organisation’s future-oriented work is a Finland that thrives as a pioneer in sustainable wellbeing.

The chemical industry is one of the most important industrial sectors in Finland. It accounts for approximately one-fifth of industrial production and exports of goods. The industry employs almost 100,000 people in Finland directly, indirectly and through income effects. The industry’s own self-regulatory programme, Responsible Care, has been operational in Finland since 1992.

The industries that are considered part of the chemical industry in Finland are the chemical process industry and the manufacturers of oil products and other chemical products such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, detergents, paints, plastics and rubber products.

The Chemical Industry Federation of Finland is a trade and labour market policy trade association for the chemical industry and its associated sectors that promotes the competitiveness and operating conditions of the industry in Finland. The federation has almost 400 member companies and 13 member and cooperation associations.