Sharing ideas about circular economy in general and how to integrate CE approach in material circulation, transportation and eco-innovations were on the agenda in the "Circular Economy workshop and ENCORE Steering Group meeting", organized in cooperation by the Regional Council of Kymenlaakso, ENCORE network, Kouvola Innovation, Cursor and XAMK, in Kouvola and Kotka on 29.-30.1.2020. Along with taking part to the workshop discussions, smart circular procurements (CircPro) and current development in the project was presented to the participants by the LP.   

The Finnish national Circular Economy Action Plan emphasises the need to move towards a life-cycle-driven ‘circular’ economy, reusing resources as much as possible and bringing residual waste close to zero. Integrating circular economy approaches in all sectors plays a key role in order to achieve the region’s and municipalities’ carbon neutrality objectives (Kymenlaakso is aiming to become a carbon neutral region and has made strategic level policy decisions related to that). Circular economy creates also new business opportunities and introduces innovative products and services to the Kymenlaakso region which has suffered from restructuring of the industry and unemployment.

The aim of this workshop was to share approaches and good practices between regions that are facing similar challenges, with a special focus on how to integrate circular economy approach in eco-innovations, traffic, material circulation and food systems and how public administrations can support this. The results will help in defining the most important measures in the region of Kymenlaakso and elsewhere, and provides input for the next ENCORE conference in Ireland 2020.