Helsinki plays an increasingly active role as a platform for notable innovations in the sharing economy and the circular economy. Helsinki collaborates with enterprises, neighbouring cities and citizens to promote the sharing economy and the circular economy.
It is no longer possible to lead good lives only by producing more. The sharing economy represents a new type of economic thinking, according to which things are shared, borrowed and leased rather than owned. The core principles of the sharing economy include more efficient use of under-used resources, a shift from ownership to access, and peer-to-peer activities and production.
The circular economy seeks to maximize the circulation of products, components and materials as well as their inherent value. In the circular economy, production and consumption generate as little waste as possible. The concepts of the sharing economy and the circular economy powerfully support each other, and they both require novel thinking in economic activity.
Helsinki promotes the circular economy with its activities and decisions
The City cooperates with enterprises, neighbouring cities and citizens. Helsinki’s biggest potential to promote the circular economy lies in construction, sharing, food production and distribution chains, and energy production. Helsinki’s role is to serve as a platform for new and potential sharing and circular economy experiments as well as to support them.
For example, Helsinki has notably developed the utilization of earth materials from construction during the 2010s. Construction projects produce more than 800,000 cubic metres of surplus materials per year never used in the city before. By efficient coordination of the production and use of earth materials, the City has both saved a large sum of money and greatly cut carbon dioxide emissions from construction.
Restaurants in Helsinki are encouraged to sell their surplus food, for example, with the help of food delivery apps. Food production side flows are utilized, and so are other surplus materials such as gardening waste and manure both regionally and locally.
City libraries promote the sharing economy
Helsinki’s highly popular city libraries do remarkable work to promote the sharing economy. Libraries give access to spaces and resources for shared uses, and they provide guidance in the digital technology and use of devices. They provide citizens with the skills of the future.
The City also promotes the sharing economy in its own operations: the City’s goal is to set an example by creating a digital platform and using this platform to share City spaces and equipment with the staff, citizens, enterprises, adult education institutions, sports societies and others.
The City also catalogues its rarely used goods and devices as well as creates a platform for sharing them.