Green transition is a top priority for the City of Turku and the region of Southwest Finland, which can be seen in the ambitious climate and environmental policies. Turku aims to be carbon neutral by 2029 and climate positive from there onwards. The region holds strong expertise in circular economy, sustainable food-based innovations and cleantech solutions.

Frontrunner in climate action

Turku has set the ambitious target to become carbon neutral by 2029 – the year when the city celebrates its 800th anniversary. While the target is one of the most ambitious in the world, Turku is well on its way to achieve it through cooperation and systematic investments in renewable energy, smart construction, improved public transport, electric mobility and sustainable urban structure. Turku reports its emissions in accordance with United Nations requirements through the CDP system as well as in accordance to the EU SECAP requirements.

On top of climate action, Turku’s goal is to implement the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development as a whole. Turku was among the first cities to implement a city-level voluntary local review of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2020. Turku is actively present on the international scene, committed and participating in several climate action networks and initiatives.

Region of Southwest Finland has seven HINKU-network municipalities (Laitila, Loimaa, Masku, Mynämäki, Paimio, Turku ja Uusikaupunki) which are committed to reduce 80 % GHG emission from 2007 levels by 2030. Together with the municipalities and wide range of other stakeholders, Southwest Finland is now developing a regional climate roadmap for 2035 aiming to be resource-wise and carbon neutral region.

Circular economy expertise

Cities and regions have a crucial role as enablers of circularity and in creating a good operating environment for new solutions. Southwest Finland was the first Finnish region to develop a Circular Economy Roadmap in 2016. City of Turku is developing a resource wisdom roadmap. The goal is a resource wise future with zero emissions, zero waste and a low ecological footprint with the sustainable use of natural resources by the year 2040. Southwest Finland has strong academic research and a remarkable number of innovative start-ups and companies working with circular economy, bioeconomy and cleantech.

Innovative food chains

Being Finland’s most important food production area (often called “the Finnish granary”), Southwest Finland is also a front-runner in food-based sustainable development. Innovative food chains is one of the focus areas in Southwest Finland’s Smart Specialisation Action Plan. The region has active cooperation between the multidisciplinary experts in business life, universities, educational institutions and public administration. Some examples are the food-oriented multidisciplinary sustainable development testing platform Living Lab Flavoria and the Food Tech Platform Finland network aiming at creating new, science-based sustainable innovations.