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| 23.10.

Laatukeskus Excellence Finland and Sitra gave the first circular economy recognitions and honourable mentions to Finnish companies

Laatukeskus Excellence Finland and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra gave recognitions and honourable mentions to seven Finnish companies promoting the circular economy. The recognitions serve as a starting point for the development of international assessment criteria for operating in accordance with the principles of circular economy.

For the first time, Laatukeskus Excellence Finland and Sitra recognised pioneering Finnish companies that promote the circular economy at the EFQM Forum held in Helsinki, Finland. The EFQM Forum is an international conference and award ceremony dedicated to the development of competitiveness and leadership. The conference focuses on improving the quality of operations, and the circular economy is an essential part of it nowadays. In the circular economy, companies try to make money by circulating materials and products, as well as the value contained in them. They can, for instance, use rental services, service products as well as reuse and remanufacture things. The recognitions were given by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Ms. Krista Mikkonen, Laatukeskus Excellence Finland’s CEO Mr. Tani Järvinen and Mr. Mikko Kosonen, the President of The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.

“Companies have to update their operations to support the mitigation of climate change, but luckily, the change offers new business opportunities, too. In the recent years, more and more Finnish companies have started to develop their business in accordance with circular economy principles. We want to inspire the rest of them to join us”, says Mr. Mikko Kosonen.

The objective of the recognitions is to emphasize the importance of the circular economy among companies, to showcase businesses representing different fields that have succeeded with fresh and scalable business ideas and to encourage companies to invest in the circular economy. 

This year, the circular economy recognitions went to the following companies:

  • 3 Step IT Oy
    Responsible lifecycle management of technology devices based on circular economy.
  • Neste Corporation
    Bold transformation and unique business growth in a traditional industry. 
  • Touchpoint Oy
    A comprehensive circular economy model from a reformer of the work wear market in the challenging textile sector.

Honourable mentions were received by the following companies:

  • MaaS Global Ltd
    A Mobility-as-a-Service operator and a pioneering concept for bringing transport providers under the same umbrella, pinpointing for users which options are better than using their own car.
  • The Nokia Corporation
    The company takes back or buys its old products and utilises their value potential. Practices related to the circular economy have been pointedly integrated into the value chain.
  • Plan B From Outer Space Ltd / RePack
    Returnable and reusable postal parcels as a service for online stores.
  • Swappie Oy
    The company buys, services and sells used smartphones in order to make it a standard practice to sell used smartphones.

Sitra’s circular economy experts invited more than 20 Finnish companies to join the programme based on a pre-evaluation. The companies were primarily selected among the 124 companies included in Sitra’s list called The most interesting companies in the circular economy. Altogether 16 companies applied for recognition.

Experts from Sitra and Laatukeskus Excellence Finland teamed up to select the companies that would receive the recognitions and honourable mentions based on Sitra’s assessment. This year the assessment criteria were based on the selection criteria used for the list The most interesting companies in the circular economy, with some additional specifications. The criteria included the interestingness of the circular economy solution, its establishment as a business (incl. economic performance), effectiveness from the perspective of the circular economy and environmental impact, scalability, as well as the effect of the company in its value chain and networks in promoting circular economy.

International criteria to assess operations related to circular economy

The recognitions serve as a starting point for making the circular economy a part of the internationally approved EFQM assessment model.

“To change companies’ revenue logic to favour circular economy, we need tools to measure development. We will include the assessment criteria for circular economy in the international quality management model called EFQM 2020. Recognitions will also be based on the criteria in the future”, says Mr. Tani Järvinen, CEO at Laatukeskus Excellence Finland.

Starting from next year, Laatukeskus Excellence Finland will select the recipients of the acknowledgement through an open call. The recognitions will be based on the criteria and assessments of the updated EFQM analysis and development model.

Further information about the recognitions:
Tani Järvinen, CEO/President, Laatukeskus Excellence Finland, +358 40 844 5767, tani.jarvinen@laatukeskus.fi 
Mikko Kosonen, President, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, +358 29 4618 991, mikko.kosonen@sitra.fi
Susanna Ketola, Communications, Laatukeskus Excellence Finland, +358 400 454 796, susanna.ketola@laatukeskus.fi

Contact details of the awarded companies:
3 Step IT Oy, Kati Lindholm, +358 40 543 6978, kati.lindholm@3stepit.com
MaaS Global Ltd, Krista Huhtala-Jenks, +358 40 759 3718, krista.huhtala-jenks@maas.global
Neste Corporation, Sari Lehmuskallio, +358 50 458 9251, sari.lehmuskallio@neste.com 
The Nokia Corporation, Pia Tanskanen, +358 50 483 7628, pia.tanskanen@nokia.com 
Plan B From Outer Space Ltd / RePack, Jonne Hellgren, +358 40 574 063, jonne@originalrepack.com
Swappie Oy, Sami Marttinen, +358 44 344 3476,  sami@swappie.com 
TouchPoint Oy, Outi Luukko, +358 40 040 6083, outi.luukko@touchpoint.fi

Laatukeskus Excellence Finland in brief
The competitiveness of a successful Finland is built on a sustainable basis. It requires that the quality of operation and management of Finnish organisations is continuously developed. Laatukeskus Excellence Finland provides practical tools and develops skills that contribute to this target. Laatukeskus Excellence Finland Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Finnish Quality Association. www.laatukeskus.fi 

The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra in brief
Sitra is a future fund that collaborates with partners from different sectors to research, trial and implement bold new ideas that shape the future. Our aim is a Finland that succeeds as a pioneer in sustainable wellbeing. www.sitra.fi