My Oulu: Circular economy plays an important role in Oulu – a roadmap defines the next steps, internationally as well

Circular Economy Specialist and Project Director Petteri Tuuttila brought with him new perspectives on how circular economy has been developed elsewhere from Portugal. Picture: Hanna Sankala-Sivula

My Oulu

Julkaistu: Kirjoittaja: My Oulu

Jaa sosiaalisessa mediassa:

A Circular Economy Roadmap is written and updated every couple of years in the city of Oulu. The current roadmap will last until 2025. The map assists the city’s actions in environmental friendliness and circular economy. Additionally, Oulu is included in a network of ten cities that collects lessons and experiences from each other.

Circular Economy Specialist and Project Director Petteri Tuuttila started working at the city of Oulu’s Urban and Environmental Services in October 2023. The city of Oulu’s Circular Economy Roadmap is lying on his desk. Updating the roadmap is a large undertaking and will last until the end of 2025.

The Circular Economy Roadmap defines the city of Oulu’s circular economy measures. The latest roadmap has been written in 2021 and its implementation monitoring update was performed in 2023.

“The majority of measures defined in the roadmap have been carried out. Energy consumption and renewable energy were in key roles, and we have progressed well in these areas”, Tuuttila explains.

“Among other things, we have managed to increase the portion of renewable energy in Oulun Energia’s district heating production. Oulun Energia has invested in progress after the roadmap was written. On top of this, we have energy consumption efficiency measures and the Education and Culture Services have done a lot of education work on the topic”, he adds.

According to Tuuttila, the Circular Economy Roadmap has already advanced well thanks to good planning and communications.

Land mass databank

According to Tuuttila, when the city of Oulu began planning circular economy measures, a so-called mass coordinator was to be hired to manage the project. The job description expanded to Circular Economy Specialist and now includes circular economy related land mass coordination.

“On top of my other work, I map out land masses that materialize during and are needed in infrastructure construction, and I attempt to coordinate the needs so that land mass transportation can be minimized in the construction. To serve this need, a material databank is being developed for the city’s joint use.”

International Cooperation network

Petteri Tuuttila also serves as the city of Oulu’s Project Director in the Let’s Go Circular Project. The goal of the project is writing a circular economy action plan for the cities in the network.

“With the Let’s Go Circular Project, the Circular Economy Roadmap would also be renewed into the Circular Economy Action Plan”, Tuuttila sums up.

The cooperation has already begun and will last until the end of 2025. The project was launched during the meeting of the EU-funded urban development cooperation network Urbact in Malmö which City Engineer Tapio Siikaluoma and BusinessOulu’s Aila Ryhänen attended last Fall.

The meetings offer new perspectives

Tuuttila traveled to Guimarães and Lissabon in February 2024 where the representatives of all ten countries met each other.

“The meetings offered me good perspectives on how other countries organize matters. And how nuanced circular economy is. In a way, they all had a different view of the concept when compared to the Finnish perspective.”

“Nordic countries are pioneers when it comes to information, for example in waste management development which we discussed during the latest meeting. Many matters that other countries are developing now were already developed in Finland ten years ago.”

The value of the visit was particularly in the sharing of information and experiences.

“We learned the most especially from the examples of Malmö and München. Also, the special expertise of the Greeks gave us a lot of useful information”, Tuuttila states.

Let’s Go Circular meetings continue in June 2024 when visitors from nine countries will arrive in Oulu.

“In Oulu, the plan is to focus on the themes of innovation and ecosystems. The planning of the event is underway and BusinessOulu will play an important role in business inclusion and digital solutions”, he explains.

EU-led funding

The cities included in the Let’s Go Circular Network are München, which is the host city, Oulu, Cluj-Napoca from Romania, Corfu from Greece, Granada from Spain, Malmö, Riga, Tirana from Albania and Guimarães and Lissabon from Portugal.

The total budget of the project for the ten cities is 850 000 € all together. Oulu’s budget is 87 700 €, 70 % of which is funded by the EU. The project will last until the end of 2025.

The city of Oulu has assembled a project team for the Let’s Go Circular Project which includes representatives of the city’s branches of administration, public utilities as well as the Oulu University of Applied Sciences and The University of Oulu.

More information about the city of Oulu’s Circular Economy Roadmap here (in Finnish).