A Minister for Circular Economy to accelerate circular economy transitions
CICAT2025 first policy brief, published in December 2019, argues that promoting a sustainable circular economy requires cross-silo collaboration. We contend that cross-silo collaboration between different levels and fields of society is needed to address global sustainability challenges such as the preservation of biodiversity and mitigation of climate change. Stakeholder collaboration has an immense role in facilitating fast actions on all levels of society.
Stakeholders share a joint interest to foster a circular economy
Our policy brief is based on a qualitative study. We interviewed 26 representatives of key stakeholder groups including companies; ministries; industry organisations; research, innovation and support organisations; regional actors; cities and municipalities. According to our findings, these groups all have their own interests. However, they share a joint interest to advance circular economy in Finland.
The ambitious goal of Finland to become a leading country in the circular economy by 2025 offers steady grounds for appointing a Minister for Circular Economy.
Promoting economic, ecological, and social sustainability as well as the circular economy is a goal shared by Finland and the EU. In Finland, the ministries promote a circular economy by using steering mechanisms like taxation, resource allocation, and information sharing. However, the various ministries primarily contribute to the circular economy from their respective administrative perspectives. Collaboration across administrative fields is vital if we want the circular economy as a new economic model to become a reality.
A Minister for Circular Economy to lead efforts
To enable cross-silo collaboration, we propose the appointment of a Minister for Circular Economy to lead Finland through the circular economy transition. The central task of the Minister would be to integrate circular economy thinking into all activities and decision-making, and to ensure that the circular economy actions of different ministries support and reinforce each other. The Minister would also act as a societal compass and spur us towards our circular economy goals. Thereby, Finland would follow in the footsteps of those places around the world, where governmental structures and roles of ministries have been adjusted in response to societal challenges by nominating, for example, a minister for happiness.
The ambitious goal of Finland to become a leading country in the circular economy by 2025 offers steady grounds for appointing a Minister for Circular Economy. In addition to promoting sustainability in Finland, the Minister could act as a global advocate of the circular economy.
Hanna Salminen, Maili Marjamaa, Johanna Kujala, Anna Heikkinen, Riikka Tapaninaho, Heta Leinonen, Annika Blomberg ja Anni Paavilainen