19 Feb 2010, Posted by Ari Makkonen in Cleantech & Environment, 1 Comments

Welcome to the capital of Finland – a place where the environment has always been challenging

When your airplane starts landing at the Helsinki airport you might witness two completely different views, depending on the time of year: either extensive green forests dotted with blue lakes or scenery totally covered in white snow and ice. This unique capital is surrounded by pure, wild nature, where temperatures vary between -20 and + 30 degrees centigrade. But regardless of when you arrive here, you can rest assured that everything works as promised, on time and exploiting the latest technology.

How do the Finns do it? How is it possible that a country with just over 5 million people can create brilliant technologies, such as the Nokia mobile phones connecting billions of people all over the globe? Or Kone elevators, which move people and products in the tallest of buildings in the major cities of the world?

Everything begins with the challenging Nordic nature, which forces us to try harder, study more and solve problems with the latest in innovation. In fact, our main “natural resource” lies between our ears. Innovation is built in to our actions and way of thinking.

The Finnish government invests heavily in providing every Finn with a free education and free libraries. Consequently, Finland has the highest percentage of highly educated citizens in the world. This makes Finns very solution-oriented: one interesting fact is that 70% of Finnish CEOs have been trained in engineering.

Shifting the focus to issues related to environmental technology in demand, our answer to global environmental challenges is Cleantech Finland®, with the slogan “Pure Agility”. Cleantech Finland® means all those products, services, processes and technologies that prevent or reduce the impacts of harmful actions on the environment. It stands for better quality, efficiency, progress, effectiveness, profitability and excitement.

Cleantech Finland® guarantees cutting-edge technology and services as well as reliable and efficient business practices. Finnish Cleantech companies are characterized by their agility and reliability. Technological solutions developed under extreme natural conditions, understanding of clean technologies and their demands, and extensive experience are also among their defining features. Finnish experts are agile in solutions and projects. A good example of true agility is Finland’s ability to combine private and public sector players to respond to customer demands.

Cleantech Finland® has already resulted in many success stories, with Finland being number one or among the best in environmental status or in the use of renewable energy. One of the companies behind this is MW Power Ltd, which is the result of the common sustainable-energy agenda of two global power technology suppliers, Metso and Wärtsilä. Focusing on renewable fuel solutions, the joint venture is one of Europe’s leading providers of medium- and small-scale combined heat and power plants. Another example is St1 Biofuels Ltd, which uses special technology to process waste into bioethanol in an environmentally friendly way.

1 comment

October 29, 2010 12:15 am


If i have times,i’ll go to your Country!

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About the writer

Ari Makkonen Executive Director, FECC Ari Makkonen
Mr. Ari Makkonen (MSc/Civil Eng; BSc/Natural Sciences) is currently the Vice President and Executive Director of the Finnish Environment Cluster for China (FECC). Before his current position, Mr. Makkonen held several senior positions for the global consulting and engineering company Pöyry and the Finnish construction company YIT. During his carreer, Mr. Makkonen has lead major international environmental projects such as the Budapest Central Water Treatment Plant Project, the Geographical Information System for Guiyang City in China, the Haiphong Water Supply and Sanitation Programme in Vietnam and Hanoi Water Supply Programme, also in Vietnam.