Handbook for a Data-Driven Circular Economy in Finland: Data Sources, Tools, and Governance for Circular Design

Tommi Kauppila (Editor), Annukka Berg, Helena Dahlbo, Pasi Eilu, Pirjo Heikkilä, Ari Hentunen, Katja Hilska-Keinänen , Susanna Horn, Hannu Ilvesniemi, Samppa Jenu, Marjaana Karhu, Tiina K.M. Karppinen, Sari Kauppi, Päivi Kivikytö-Reponen, Sonja Lavikko, Eeva Lehtonen, Sari Luostarinen, Sami Majaniemi, Päivi Malmi, Mika NaumanenJukka-Pekka Ovaska, Liisa Pesonen, Janne Pesu, Henri Pitkänen, Jussi Pokki, Milja Räisänen, Jani Salminen, Svetlana Sapon, Eero Siivola, Jaana Sorvari, Hannu Tanner, Hannamaija Tuovila, Teuvo Uusitalo, Kristiina Valtanen

Research output: Book/ReportReport


The use of raw materials is undergoing a major transformation as living standards rise globally and societies move towards digitalisation and renewable energy production. At the same time, there is a growing awareness of the limits of the carrying capacity of our planet. Raw materials and energy must be used and produced efficiently, economically, and renewably so that we can succeed in the long term. The principles of the circular economy can help to meet this challenge.

The circular economy is a technical and economic model that seeks to eliminate waste, reduce the use of matter and energy, keep products and materials in use, and enable natural systems to regenerate in an environmentally, socially, economically, and energetically sustainable way. Circularity is best achieved when it is considered at an early stage in the design of products and processes.

High-quality and up-to-date data is needed as a basis for design-based circular economy solutions. It can be used to develop new circular economy solutions, identify opportunities for circular economy innovations, and assess their feasibility and profitability. Easy-to-find and easy-to-use open data therefore offers many opportunities to promote the circular economy in practice. It is no wonder that, in addition to economic interests, there are numerous administrative drivers in Finland and Europe that seek to promote a circular economy, digitalisation, and data transparency.

In addition to a change in mindset and data, methods for collecting, managing, sharing, and processing data for decision-making purposes have evolved tremendously. Digital data platforms and new technologies for data analysis, networking, and secure sharing also open many new opportunities for the circular economy. At the same time, digital devices and sensors are producing more and more data for a wide variety of things. This data can be collected, systematized, processed, and shared to generate new information and added value.

Design-based solutions for the circular economy (CircDNet) is a project funded by the Academy of Finland and run by VTT, GTK, Luke, SYKE, and Aalto University. The project aims to meet the challenge of a data-enabled and design-based circular economy. This report lays the foundation for the project's work to create data and system-level understanding of data and to turn understanding into action towards concrete solutions for the circular economy. The report is aimed at developers of innovations and solutions in the circular economy, decision-makers influencing the conditions for success of the circular economy, and those working with the data on which circular economy solutions are based. The report systematically discusses the data available in Finland as a basis for circular economy solutions, describes the technologies used to collect, manage, distribute, and analyze data to support decisionmaking, and addresses the governance drivers affecting the development of the digital circular economy.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages262
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-8764-3
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesVTT Technology


  • circular design
  • open data
  • twin transition
  • digital technologies
  • change drivers


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