Smart circular material use, carbon neutral business parks and energy-efficient buildings – successful business operations and responsibility go hand in hand in Vantaa companies. The 6Aika projects invest heavily in low-carbon solutions which have translated into ecologically sustainable business operations, new innovations, and resource- and material-efficiency. Even local residents are taking part in the joint effort.
The 6Aika Energy Wise Cities project – Energy-efficiency and low carbon buildings
Energy-efficient and low-carbon buildings use renewable energy and optimise energy consumption related to lighting, cooling, heating, and ventilation. The project has proven that investments made to improve the energy efficiency of buildings will pay for themselves. The project calculated the optimal way for nearly ten companies to improve the energy efficiency of their premises located in the Petikko-Varisto retail park.
“Building-specific plans were drawn up for the companies participating in the project. We researched and tested solar panels that can be installed on walls and started to design a completely new type of energy-wise retail park that will also have the potential to transform the city’s image,” explains project manager Ari-Santeri Talja from Vantaa Business Development Services.
After the reviews and calculations had been done, one of the companies involved in the project disconnected their building from district heating and started to produce their own heating. The initial calculations show savings of nearly EUR 40,000 per year. Later on, we will also be able to see the numbers for carbon dioxide reduction.
The 6Aika ILPO – Climate Positive Business Parks and Value Chains project – Circular economy creates new business opportunities
The project has served as a link between companies and cities: it brings company value chains and circular economy hubs together to work towards common climate goals.
“In Vantaa, we have worked on creating a circular economy hub together with the companies and other operators in the relevant sector. These large clusters related to circular material use play a key role when companies are considering new business opportunities and climate-friendly operating models and processes,” says project manager Ronny Rantamäki from Vantaa Business Development Services.
Ideally, a cluster of companies and a business park linked in different ways to the material cycle in Vantaa could serve as an environment for companies where synergies can be found for everyone.
Models for planning a circular economy hub can be found in other cities involved in the 6Aika strategy. For example, lessons could be learned in Vantaa from a successful circular economy hub, the Topinpuisto circular economy centre, in south-western Finland.
The 6Aika CircularHoodFood project: Circular economy – low-carbon food, urban food production and recycling of bio-waste
Circular economy for food refers to the way food travels from the field onto your dinner table and back to the field and into food production again as nutrients. The aim is to minimise the carbon footprint of food. Vantaa is searching for circular economy and food waste-reducing solutions for restaurants.
“Practical experiments allow us to highlight smart ways to produce food using new technologies. As a participant in the project, we can easily facilitate business networks and find facilities and locations for experiments and new businesses,” says project manager Henri Laine from Vantaa Business Development Services.
Laine emphasises that the circular economy for food must also find new business models. Experimentation can lead to new ways of producing food in economically and environmentally sustainable ways even in urban environments.
The project has also introduced models for farming in urban residential areas and new innovative ideas for urban food production.
6Aika is a joint sustainable urban development strategy of the six largest cities in Finland: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku and Oulu. This strategy centres on co-creation and cross-sector collaboration between cities, companies and other organisations and sectors and offers platforms and environments for experimenting and development. In Vantaa, 6Aika means experimenting with new ideas and development projects in and with the city.