Bio economy

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The bioeconomy explained

Bioeconomy is approached from different perspectives on an international and national level. Finland's bioeconomy strategy highlights that bioeconomy related activity must be in accordance with sustainable development. The bioeconomy is part of a larger green economy.

Bioeconomy is the management and utilisation of biological natural resources, and equally leveraging upon these resources to create bio-based products and services. Bioeconomy is characterised by renewable bio-based natural resources, environmentally friendly clean technology and the efficient recycling of materials. Finland's bioeconomy encompasses the following industries: agriculture, food, forestry, wood, paper, construction, chemical, pharmaceutical, renewable energy, water purification/distribution as well as services including nature tourism, berries, hunting and fishing.

Bioeconomy is the production of products and services utilising natural resources. In addition to these bio-products and services, a vital part of bio economy is ecosystem services; nature's own processes from photosynthesis to circulation of nutrients as well as the atmosphere and the water system. Applications of products and services derived from the bioeconomy can also be found in other sectors, for example in the technology industry, land and water construction, clothing industry, design and consulting services.

The role of bioeconomy in the circular economy

The bioeconomy is not only concerned with specific sectors, but instead is an all-encompassing approach to utilise and develop sustainable and resource efficient manufacturing processes. The central theme is combining industrial and natural processes in a way where production is based on utilising and mimicking biological processes. Bioeconomy strives towards a sustainable circular economy way of thinking. Not only does it further the economical use of natural resources, but also mitigates climate change and decreases dependency on non-renewable resources. Sustainable circulation of bio-products and services offers an abundance of opportunities to generate new business aimed towards global markets.

Developing the bio economy offers a global opportunity for strengthening sustainable development since bio economy prevents eco systems from declining whilst simultaneously creating new green economy jobs. Additionally, bio economy means transitioning away from the inevitably obsolete fossil economy, which is caused by the global environment change, to a new era of bio economy.

Developing the bioeconomy offers a global opportunity for strengthening sustainable development since the bioeconomy prevents natural ecosystems from declining whilst simultaneously creating new green economy employment prospects. Additionally, the bioeconomy means transitioning away from the inevitably obsolete fossil fuels, towards a new era of sustainability within a circular bioeconomy partly forced by global environmental change.

On a national level, Finland has a wide spectrum of opportunities in the forest-based bioeconomy. Finland has an abundant and renewable natural resource base that is supported by sustainable forestry traditions and infrastructure. Technological know-how and innovation in Finland is world-class. Combining these competences, forest wood can be utilised as a versatile raw material for innovative products and services. The structural change of forestry is, in its own way, driving the search for new forest-based business opportunities where the need for side stream processing activities will increase dramatically. Forest wood, when processed must utilise all side stream components along the value chain in order to reduce waste and be viewed as a basis for additional innovative products and services. Demand has risen exponentially for bio-based products and services deriving from sustainable natural resources, and once leveraged creates an opportunity for large scale job creation. The challenge of transitioning to the bioeconomy is to diverge from the sector-specific thinking towards the bioeconomy's industrial symbiosis, where multiple sectors as well as public and private actors can cooperate under a unified bioeconomy strategy.

Kainuun Etu on palkittu Euroopan parhaana aluekehitysyhtiönä 2016