Territories’ CE activities and state-of-the-art of CE

Henrik Brynthe Lund, Mari Wardeberg, Jens Hanson, Sarianna Palola, Anna Tenhunen-Lunkka, Riina Kärki, Linda Rekosuo, Pirjo Kaivos, Jelizaveta Krenjova-Cepilova, Trond Åge Landvik, Gunn Nygaard, Einari Kisel

Research output: Book/ReportReport


The objective of the report is to provide a comprehensive overview of the current status of circular economy (CE) in the target countries of the TREASoURcE project; Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Estonia. This is achieved by examining and analysing existing strategies, roadmaps and action plans for CE and for the key value chains (KVCs) targeted in the project; plastics, EV batteries and bio-based waste and side streams. The report provides an assessment of existing documents within the different territories, which can serve as a foundation for the work undertaken by the TREASoURcE project. The study also focuses on specific regions and municipalities in Finland, Norway and Estonia, where the studied regions are Usimaa and Pirknamaa in Finland and Viken in Norway. On the municipal level, we analyse Helsinki and Tampere in Finland, Fredrikstad in Norway, and Tartu and Tallinn in Estonia.

The report develops a framework for analysis of the targeted documents, aiming to provide a better understanding of how the documents can provide a way forward in the transition towards a CE. The framework draws on the literature on sustainability transitions to dig into a total of 56 different documents, covering both the national, regional, and local levels in the five countries. Thematically, the analytical framework covers topics such as 1) scope, purpose, and objective, 2) portrayal of the future and change, and 3) innovation and wider societal change. The findings from the document analysis are synthesized into five analyses covering the target countries and selected regions. Thereafter we draw up some comparative remarks to provide some further insights on the similarities and differences between the countries.

We find that the studied territories have progressed differently in terms of developing strategies, road maps and action plans to promote CE. Whereas the Nordic countries all have national CE strategies, the Estonian strategy is currently under development. Furthermore, we see a clear distinction between the national and regional and local levels in terms of availability of CE strategies, where documents on the national level are more clear-cut strategies, either general CE strategies or strategies for individual KVCs. Whereas regional and local levels are characterized by a lack of strategies targeting CE in particular, making it more challenging to piece together a holistic understanding of the current status of CE in the studied regions and municipalities. Aims and visions for CE are found in the more general county and municipal plans for climate and other similar documents.

We have identified three takeaways that can inform practitioners, policy-makers and researchers based on reflection and insights developed during an interactive and interdisciplinary workshop with representative from SINTEF, VTT, Fredrikstad Municipality, Tampere and TalTech. We argue that 1) there is a need for cross-regional collaboration to enhance CE for certain materials, 2) there is a need to move from static documents to action, thus moving towards increased implementation of CE strategies is warranted to promote a transition towards CE, and 3) a need for cross-country learning, where late comers can draw upon experiences and best practices from countries that have progressed further in terms of CE.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTREASoURcE project
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2023
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series



The TREASoURcE project has received funding from the European Commission under the Grant Ag-reement No. 101059


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