Finland

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The eco-innovation landscape in Finland has been remaining quite stable over the last years. Importantly, Finland is still ranked as one of the most innovative countries in the world. Finnish eco-innovation continues to benefit from a well-developed innovation system, open economy, and close collaboration between industry, academia and national research organisations.

Energy efficiency and circular economy have been established as key high-level policy priorities, and related national and regional initiatives are manifold. Both start-ups and established companies generate technologies, products and services in several sectors relevant to eco-innovations and the circular economy. Applications range from a mobile app designed to rescue leftover food from restaurants to pioneering energy management solutions and transformative products based on material recycling.

One of the most important policy developments is the inclusion of circular economy as a priority in the Strategic Programme of the Finnish Government from 2016 onwards. The Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy also published the Strategy to Promote Cleantech Business in Finland in 2014, which continues to guide policymaking and business initiatives. Other important strategies and programmes relevant to eco-innovations and the circular economy include the Finnish Bioeconomy Strategy (2014), the Finnish Material Efficiency Programme (2014), and the new Circular Economy focus area (2016) in Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund.

The main challenges for eco-innovation in the country are associated with the weak national economy and decreasing public and private research and development  (R&D) spending .

2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for Finland

Finland

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Green business model for waste and wastewater treatment

Labels: Water supply

Watrec Ltd is specialised in environmental engineering and science. The company offers a comprehensive model that involves plant and processes for waste materials and wastewater treatment by converting organic waste into renewable energy and nutrient materials profitably. The focus of the company is on tailored systems to find solutions for the challenges related to waste and wastewater. The company aims for reduced use of chemicals by designing systems with minimum or zero consumption of chemicals. For instance the Membro process is designed to treat waste water with high levels of ammonia and organic substances.

Watrec is a Finnish company established in 2003 specialised in environmental engineering and science, and in biowaste,wastewater and process water treatment. The company offers plants and processes for organic waste materials and wastewater treatment, and its solutions enable production of green renewable energy from organic waste materials and wastewater.

Watrec's green business model contributes to the development and design of services that increase energy productivity and improve material cycles. The focus of the company is on tailored systems to find solutions for the challenges related to waste and wastewater. The company aims for reduced use of chemicals by designing systems with minimum or zero consumption of chemicals. For instance the Membro process is designed to treat waste water with high levels of ammonia and organic substances. The process combines biological and physical processes to produce a cost-efficient operation and to achieve high removal rates for ammonia, COD, solids and phosphorus.

In the Watrec's biogasplants the waste is turned into biogas and fertilizers in a sustainable way. The plants contribute to waste management and decentralised production of  clean renewable energy and high quality fertilisers. The biogas produced can be used for electricity and heat as well as vehicle fuels. The biogas is considered a step towards reducing greenhouse gases in power production. 

Barriers and Drivers
Structures that favour decentralised energy production and waste treatment and insufficient regulation or policy measures (public procurement in both demand and supply side measures) promoting decentralised systems; versatile knowledge and know-how in the environmental business sector enables business models that combine different aspects of eco-innovations (technologies, systems, services etc.); user acceptance may become a barrier, if customers are not prepared to change their mindset (cp. decentralised vs. centralised structures).

Economic Performance
Cost-efficiency: lower cost for customers. Green business models provide sound basis for business and create value and branding for both customers and suppliers.

Social Performance
Consumer based approach: taylor made solutions; energy-savings for consumers/ clients; Encourage change towards a more sustainable behaviour.

Environmental Impact
The environmental impacts of a green business model are variable. The reduction of GHG emissions would take place due to the reduction of energy and material consumption. Additionally, the on-site recycling of waste materials would reduce logistics and thus contiribute to the reduction of emissions and resouce efficiency. Decentralisation of energy production would also promote renewable energies and thus improve energy-efficiency and reduction of emissions produced by the energy industry. The use of renewable energy would also replace oil.

Further Information

http://www.watrec.fi

http://www.cleantechfinland.com/solutions/renewable_energy/watrec/

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