New and innovative low-carbon business generates competitive advantage for companies and municipalities (VÄLKE)

The huge potential of energy saving, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources is already recognized. The benefits are various, such as decreased greenhouse gas emissions, a boost in the domestic energy markets, increased employment and improved self-sufficiency. About 70 % of energy consumed in Finland is imported causing a deficit to our trade balance. By cutting energy consumption and production and by increasing the production of renewable energy, the state of the Finnish economy could be improved.

The cleantech sector is one of the fastest growing industries. There are success stories showing that remarkable business opportunities exist. However, in Finland the business environment can be challenging as the demand in the domestic markets is limited and it may be difficult for a company to get references.

The Välke project aims at creating an on-going process that will help guide Finland towards a carbon neutral society. In this future vision, energy consumption is strictly limited and energy produced from alternative, low-emission sources. The economy is strengthened through increased domestic production of renewable energy and cost-savings brought by improved energy efficiency. Finnish companies enter successfully the growing global cleantech markets.

In practice, the Välke project’s goal is to implement climate-friendly solutions and clean technology in municipalities and private companies. Demand for innovative products and services is to be created through public and private procurement. New solutions, methods and approaches will be developed, tested and disseminated.

The Välke project also assesses the challenges and obstacles related to good practices in climate change mitigation. Cots-efficient, low-carbon solutions are often available and funding instruments for carrying out energy the investments also exist. Yet, these possibilities are often ignored, both by the private and the public sector. Why?

The Välke project will work in close cooperation with local companies and property owners to gain results. About 120 small and medium size enterprises and 150 properties will be studied and analysed. The enterprises and property owners will be given support in their work to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The goal is to significantly reduce the use of fossil energy and emissions in the course of the project.

There are two geographical areas involved in the Välke project. The areas and the participating municipalities and development companies are: South-Western Lake Päijänne (Asikkala, Padasjoki, and Kuhmoinen)and Western Uusimaa(Lohja, Raasepori, Hanko, Siuntio, Inkoo and Novago Business Development Ltd.).

The working packages are 1) Low-carbon business models for enterprises, 2) Energy efficiency and cleantech solutions for properties in municipalities, 3) Collective procurement of clean technology by small and medium sized enterprises and municipalities. The project will be coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute.

The most functional and cost-efficient processes that can be supported by public funding will be reported, communicated and disseminated. The results of the Välke project are free for everyone to use all around Finland. Communication has a major role.

The Välke project builds on the knowledge, experiences and networks of The Carbon Neutral Municipalities project (HINKU), also coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute. HINKU is an innovative initiative in the field of climate change mitigation. The project brings together municipalities, businesses, experts and local residents to create and carry out low-carbon solutions. The municipalities have set the target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 % by 2030 from the level of 2007. The results and outputs of the Välke project will be implemented and further developed in the HINKU project.

More information

Project coordinator Jyrki Tenhunen, Finnish Environment Institute,

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Published 2015-03-20 at 7:44, updated 2015-03-19 at 15:38

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