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Carbon neutral municipalities – An innovative Finnish approach. Alec Estlander & Kaarina Toivonen Finnish Environment Institute SYKE September 2010.

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carbon neutral municipalities an innovative finnish approach
Carbon neutral municipalities –An innovative Finnish approach

Alec Estlander & Kaarina Toivonen

Finnish Environment Institute SYKE

September 2010


Carbon neutral municipalities (CANEMU)Five Finnish municipalities act as laboratories by working to curb their carbon dioxide emissions ahead of schedule(-80% 2020/2030)with SYKE (and TEKES) support

let s make the impossible possible
”Let’s make the impossible possible”
  • Something should be done to mitigate climate change!
  • Climate change mitigation can also offer possibilities
  • Active individuals can generate change!
  • The initiators below (Prof. Jyri Seppälä, SYKE and CEO Jari Raitanen)
  • Steering group
  • Project group in SYKE
  • Over 40 national technology companies
  • Support group in the Parliament
  • Municipal actors: municipal government, local companies, organisations, residents, summer residents

Uusikaupunki: 16 000 inhabitants, 502 km2 (land),

a small coastal town, industry, wind energy

Mynämäki: 8 000 inhabitants, 522 km2,

a largely agricultural locality, wind energy

Kuhmoinen: 2 700 inhabitants, 937 km2,

forest resources, summer residents

Padasjoki: 3 600 inhabitants, 731 km2,

forest resources, summer residents

Parikkala: 6 100 inhabitants, 761 km2,

farming, forest resources, SMEs



- versatile communication about possibilities, measures and benefits

-> “we are doing together”

Practical measures in the early stage of the project

- visible results important for the credibility of the project

- focus on the strengths of the munipalicities

Determination of short-term (2-5 years) and long-term (6-20 years) targets

- e.g. 20% reduction by 2012, 50 % reduction by 2020, 80 % reduction by 2030


- voluntary schemes and demonstration based on business practices

- research and development projects, pilot scale trials

- close collaboration (researchers, public sector, residents, business)

Monitoring and evaluation system

- to show results and development

- to gather materials on good practices and to analyse cost-effectiveness

actions in municipalities
Actions in municipalities
  • Calculation of emissions
  • Calculation of emission reduction potentials
  • Commitment of municipal governments
  • Support to local companies, organisations and residents
  • Pilot projects, surveys
  • Communication, media
  • Climate and energy strategies

Greenhouse gas emissions 2007

CO2 eq./inhabitant/year (tonnes)


Building heating

Other electricity cons.

Other fuel cons.

Waste management


(KASVENER model)

possible actions to reduce emissions
Possible actions to reduce emissions
  • Energy efficiency in energy production
  • Energy savings in households, industry and public properties
  • Urban planning
  • Forest energy
  • Energy from agricultural by-products
  • Wind energy
  • Solar energy
  • Geothermal heat pumps
  • Buildings: insulation, ventilation, heat recovery, passive solar energy
  • Transport planning, public transport
  • Walking and cycling
  • Public procurement
  • Decreased use of fertilizers
  • Changes in consumption patterns
  • Etc.
case district heating with wood chips
Case: District heating with wood chips
  • District heating plant
  • Possibility to produce electricity and heat (CHP)
  • Efficiency up to 90 %
  • In Finland about 50 % of buildings are connected to a district heating system, in Helsinki about 90 %
  • Possible fuels: wood chip, wood pellets, other biofuels, (coal, natural gas, peat, oil)
media and communication
Media and communication
  • A lot of national and local media attention obtained
  • New emission calculator for citizens developed (below right)
  • “Climate diet” TV documentary series
key factors in promoting climate friendly solutions in municipalities
Key factors in promoting climate-friendly solutions in municipalities
  • The municipal management and administration see climate change mitigation as a possibility
  • The municipality promotes awareness of climate change and motivate citizens through their own example
  • Different actors form networks work together to find innovative solutions and support
  • The municipality and local companies work together
  • The media highligts successful local examples
  • Motivated people in the municipality give their time and effort
  • Different target groups are supported in getting started

Please, visit our website:


Alec and Kaarina

examples implemented measures and decisions already made in uusikaupunki
Examples: Implemented measures and decisions already made in Uusikaupunki
  • Use of process heat from a fertliser manufacturing facility
  • Installation of two 1.3 MW wind turbines
  • Biodiesel from fish processing wastes
  • Video conference facilities made available for local firms to hire
  • Flaring of landfill gas
  • Construction of passive houses
  • Manufacture of heat-storing fireplaces
  • Energy efficiency agreement
  • Involvement in ICLEI's "Cities for climate protection" campaign
  • Internet interview survey of local residents (1,000 respondents)
  • Online poll for summer residents regarding e.g. heating
  • Real time metering of energy and water consumption
  • Renovation and energy audit of the municipal kitchen
  • New locations connected to the district heating network
  • Meetings between the municipality and 30 local companies about CO2 emission reductions and the effects of the CANEMU project ETC.

Potential in renewable energy sources

Wood chip

Straw, reed canary grass

Biogas (dung, vegetal waste)

Wind energy

Hydro power

Solar energy

steering group
Steering group

Erkki Eskola, ministerial advisor, Ministry of Employment and the Economy

Jarmo J Heinonen, head of technology, Tekes

Anne Heusala, head of municipal council, Kuhmoinen

Heikki Jaakkola, head of municipal council, Padasjoki

Saara Jääskeläinen, senior inspector, Ministry of Transport and Communications

Leena Karessuo, director, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities (chair)

Lea Kauppi, director general, Finnish Environment Institute

Kari Koski, head of municipal council, Uusikaupunki

Hans Olander, head of municipal council, Parikkala

Hannele Pokka, permanent secretary, Ministry of the Environment

Jari Raitanen, managing director, Devoi Oy

Risto Savolainen, sales manager, St1 Oy

Mikko Talola, development manger, Lassila & Tikanoja Oyj

Anne Vehviläinen, senior environmental inspector, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Helena Vänskä, senior adviser, Confederation of Finnish Industry

Seija Österberg, head of municipal council, Mynämäki

project group in syke
Project group in SYKE

Head of project with overall responsibility, Professor Jyri Seppälä

Project Manager: Jyrki Tenhunen

Senior Engineer: Alec Estlander

Communication, media: Ulla Ala-Ketola

Research Engineer: Jarmo Linjama

Specialist researcher: Ari Nissinen

Main researcher: Olli-Pekka Pietiläinen

Senior Adviser: Pirke Suoheimo

Researcher: Kaarina Toivonen

companies involved
Companies involved

HK Ruokatalo

Innotek Oy

Kalliokaivo Oy

Kemira Water

Kuusakoski Oy

Lassila & Tikanoja


Muovitech Finland Oy

MW Power

Naps Systems Oy


NordicAC/Hi-Log Oy

Oras Ltd

Oversol Oy

Oy WindsideProduction Ltd


PricewaterhouseCoopers Oy


Aina Group


BaseN Oy


BIOvakka Oy



Eagle Tuulivoima Oy








Schneider Electric

Skaala ikkunat ja ovet Oy

Solutions Space


Suomen lämpöpumpputekniikka

Vacon Oy

Vahterus Oy

Vapo Oy


Veikkaus Oy

Winwind Oy

WSP Finland Oy


support network in the parliament
Support network in the parliament

Tarja Tallqvist, Uusimaa, Christian Democrats in Finland

Timo Kaunisto, Varsinais-Suomi, Centre Party

Petteri Orpo, Varsinais-Suomi, National Coalition Pary

Christina Gestrin, Uusimaa, Swedish People’s Party

Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Vaasa, Social Democratic Party of Finland

Pentti Tiusanen, Kymi, Left Alliance

Heli Järvinen, Etelä-Savo, Green League

noted challenges
Noted challenges
  • Economic recession has caused some difficulties for authorities to spend their resources to the project
  • There is a need to increase “face to face” guidance for all target groups
  • It has been difficult to obtain exhaustive data about the measures of residents
  • How to get investments for many new plans of technical systems with effective mitigation potential in the near future?