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Anna Tenhunen-Lunkka

Senior Scientist, Circular Economy Pioneer of Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Coordinator of SusChem Finland

  • Phone+358404868713

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Short bio

Anna Tenhunen M.Sc.(Tech) works as a Senior Scientist and Project Manager at VTT in the Material Processing and Circular Solutions research team. She holds her Master’s degree in bioproduct and bioprocess engineering (under environmental and process engineering), as well as industrial environmental and energy engineering. She is completing her Ph.D. in environmental sciences and sustainability at University of Helsinki in material sustainability. 

Her RDI is in side stream utilization, material processing, material development, business development and circular economy, especially in circular plastics including biobased alternatives. Her research is focused on sustainable circular economy and material and product circulation. She has also worked and works with projects relating to the operational framework that support the scale up and implementation of systemic and technical solutions. For example, reviews of state-of-the-art, existing best practices, material flow analyses, opportunities as well as bottlenecks related to circular economy (incl. policy review and recommendations) in innovation ecosystems and different sectors (mechanical wood, plastic packaging, plastics in WEEE, ELV, C&DW, recycling and reuse circular strategies). Currently, she coordinates Horizon Europe projects PRIMUS and TREASoURcE and is the VTT project owner of Horizon Europe of IRISS. She has managed the EU H2020-project NONTOX, coordinated the EU H2020 BBI JU project BIOSWITCH, and co-coordinated the EU H2020 project WoodCircus. She has also managed several internally and nationally funded plastic recycling, recyclate upgrading, and reuse related technological R&D&I projects.

She has led and internationally awarded biobased packaging material development project (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, EcoPack Challenge 2018, Sustainability Awards 2018). In 2019, she was granted the title and is currently acting as Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Circular Economy Pioneer. In 2019, she was awarded as a finalist of the Young Project Manager Competition of Finland. She also acts as the SusChem Finland National Platform Coordinator (since 01/2021), which is part of the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry. 

Recently, she acted as an expert evaluator for the European Commission for the Horizon Europe Framework Programme proposals (2022), as well as is acting as a National Probationary Assessor (NPA) for the IPMA C-level project management certification assessments.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Engineering, manufacturing and construction, Master, Master of Science, University of Oulu

22 Apr 201626 Jan 2017

Award Date: 26 Jan 2017

Engineering, manufacturing and construction, Bachelor, Bachelor of Environmental Engineering, University of Oulu

11 Aug 201121 Apr 2016

Award Date: 21 Apr 2016

Science, Doctorate

1 May 2020 → …

External positions

RDI Advisor, CLIC Innovation Oy

Jun 2022 → …

SusChem FI Coordinator, SusChem Finland

Jan 2021 → …

Project Coordinator, CLIC Innovation Oy

May 2020Jun 2022

Circular Economy Pioneer, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Jun 2019 → …

Research Trainee, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Jun 2016Dec 2016

Research Assistant, University of Oulu

Mar 2014Aug 2014

Research Assistant, University of Oulu

Jun 2012Oct 2012

Skills and expertise

  • circular economy
  • linear economy
  • material know-how
  • plastic products
  • packaging
  • WEEE
  • ELV
  • CDW
  • legislation and regulations
  • operational framework
  • systemic solutions
  • sustainability
  • circularity
  • circular economy transition
  • statistics
  • modelling
  • chemistry
  • recycling of plastics
  • mechanical recycling
  • thermochemical recycling
  • project management
  • project coordination
  • policy recommendations
  • circular economy business models
  • reuse
  • refurbishment
  • climate change


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