The trust on Finnish cleantech expertise and the position of Finland as the forerunner in circular economy is growing: The Sultanate of Oman has chosen a Finnish consortium led by Eera to develop the country’s environmental services and the operating environment of waste and wastewater management.
Circular economy and cleantech are the global megatrends of our time. Circular economy has been proposed as a solution for the problems brought by climate change. It strives for economic growth without splurging the limited resources; in circular economy, the loss of materials and waste production is minimized. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the total worth of global circular economy market is projected to be 700-800 billion euros.
There is a lot of circular economy expertise in Finland. Now, it is time to find the international markets for this know-how. The government of Finland has set a target that by 2025 Finland is the leading country in bio and circular economy and cleantech, and that these sectors are the cornerstones of Finnish exports.
An Environmental Center of Excellence to be built in Oman with the support of Finnish expertise
The Oman Environmental Services Holding Company S.A.O.C be’ah, which is the entity responsible for solid waste management in the Sultanate of Oman, has chosen a consortium led by Eera to develop an Environmental Center of Excellence (ECoE) concept and to support the local government bodies in building it. The consortium led by Eera includes Finnish Aula Europe and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, as well as Omani Al Daud Foundation.
The objective of the center of excellence is not only to develop the Omani environmental services and the operating environment of waste and wastewater management but also to support the development of business and research in this area. Additionally, the goal is to support sustainability in the economy through e.g. communications and regulation.
“We will build on the best practices and together with Oman create a high-standard center of excellence. The cooperation with local authorities, companies, research and other stakeholders is an essential part of the project. Thus, we are extremely proud of this trust on us,” comments Martti Malmivirta, the Executive Chairman of Eera.
Effective waste and wastewater treatment is important in the future – There is a demand for Finnish expertise
Approximately 80 % of the Omani population live in cities, and the population is growing fast because of the expatriates moving in the country. While the population is growing fast, also the amount of waste produced is growing exponentially. By 2020 Oman is expected to produce 4,6 million tonnes of municipal solid waste in a year. Effective waste management is a prerequisite for a sustainable future of Oman – at the same time it provides a huge potential for building up circular economy expertise.
The Omani ECoE is a great example of the power of Finnish cooperation. Almost the whole world is facing the same problems, so there is a need for centers of excellence also in other places. The target is to create international cooperation between different centers of excellence around circular economy.
“The trust on Finnish expertise and the functionality of Finnish institutions is high on the international markets,” Malmivirta continues. VTT and SYKE are great examples of well-functioning expert organisations in the environment sector and one reason behind the trust on Finnish circular economy expertise.