Current issues at the Hinku steering group meeting
The autumn forum began with the steering group’s meeting, which was chaired by Lea Kauppi, Director General of the Finnish Environmental Institute. Representing new Hinku municipalities (Raahe, Utajärvi, Haapajärvi) were administrative officer Seppo Sorvari and living environment director Petri Leskinen, who gave presentations respectively on Raahe, known for wind power and industry, and Utajärvi, where planned projects include wind power, a GeoHouse smart village and using oat hull for energy production.
Finnish Environment Institute Senior Specialist Johannes Lounasheimo introduced the results of the latest municipalities’ emissions calculations. Then the director of the Hinku project Jyri Seppälä opened the discussion on the future of the Hinku network by introducing a six-year project, due to start at the end of 2018 and focused on climate change control in municipalities and regions.
The discussion covered, among other things, further development of emission calculation models, the possibility of Hinku regions, the LULUCF (land-use, land-use change and forestry) sector and biofuels as well as various compensation methods and possibilities. It was also generally agreed that, with regard to the future, collaboration between different municipality networks as well as shared calculation models and common approaches are very important.
Research results and solutions for Hinku municipalities’ climate work
After the steering group meeting, researcher Hannu Savolainen from the Finnish Environment Institute offered research-based insights into the impact of low-carbon measures on regional economies. Salka Orivuori from Motiva explained the opportunities offered to municipalities by the Competence Centre for Sustainable and Innovative Public Procurement’s (KEINO) Green Deal and the Municipalities’ Energy Efficiency Agreements (KETS).
As usual, Hinku partner companies got to introduce their most recent solutions and innovations to Hinku municipalities. There were presentations by, for instance, Emma Liljeström from Benviroc, who told about new tools intended for sustainable development target monitoring, and Sara Väänänen from NCC industry, who presented more ecological, lower-carbon asphalt alternatives. Useful solutions for emissions reduction were also offered by Minna Näsman from Leanheat, Timo Raulamo from Carbon Exit and Yrjö Siira from Filtech.
Save the date: Provisional information about upcoming events
Planner Janne Pesu, a recent addition to the Hinku team from the Finnish Environment Institute, brought information on new kinds of implementation and funding opportunities for low-carbon energy investments. There was also provisional information on results-based financed impact investment Environmental Impact Bonds (EIB) as well as ELENA funding for large-scale project preparation.
Soili Helminen from Municipality Finance told about Green Funding and the Klash challenge. Together with WWF’s Kata Kreft-Burman, she invited everyone to the More Low-Carbon Buildings Now seminar and the Life EconomisE workshop (Get Your Money’s Worth: an Economically Viable Way Towards an Energy Efficient and Resilient Building Stock) on January 23. Development engineer Jarmo Linjama from the Finnish Environment Institute reminded municipalities and companies of the help SYKE offers for energy efficient and low-carbon measure investments and for communications about these measures on, for instance, SYKE’s Energy Leap service.
Even though a lot has been done already and Hinku municipalities are on the right track, the greatest work still remains to be done. However, through resolute action we can progress towards carbon-neutral municipalities – economically, cleaner, together.