Green and sustainable Kemi - now for Companies

Green and Sustainable Kemi project ended in February, Green and Sustainable Kemi for companies started on March. Perhaps we could have used more imagination in naming the project but on the other hand the name was already properly launched, and this new project is kind of “season 2”.

In the previous project the focus was on city organization. All the branches were challenged to act in a more climate friendly way. Sorting and circulating of waste were improved, energy and water consumption was reduced, Social kitchen was established to reduce food waste and increase usage of vegetables. And so on. As a result, Kemi is now the second municipality in Finland having ISO 14001:2015 environmental certificate.

Towards the end of the project Kemi joined in Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities (Hinku) -network, which was a significant step in enhancing the Green Kemi operating model to cover the whole area of Kemi, including companies. This confirmed the decision to launch Green and Sustainable Kemi for Companies project.

Target group of the project consists of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Kemi. The purpose of this project is to add their awareness of environmental issues. And the aim is also to get them to act consistently in compliance with sustainable development and decarbonization. As a result, we will create an environmental manual template. Companies can use the template as a checklist and a tool in developing and documenting sustainable operations. By the means of the template it is easier to identify environmental impacts, prioritize them and thus allocate resources to the most impactful actions. Sustainable acting improves both the brand of the company and chances of succeeding in public procurement processes.

Co-operation improves business conditions. New business ideas concerning circular economy may arise and on the long run the vitality of the region grows. When companies act more sustainably the emissions in the area decrease and the city of Kemi gets closer to its carbon neutrality / Hinku goals.

Communication and co-operation are in an essential role in promoting sustainable development. It is important to strengthen the positive green circle: the more sustainable operations are implemented and published, the more people get interested in sustainable development. Continuous improvement is realized as ISO 14001 environmental standard recommends. Hopefully soon, sustainable development is considered the default criterion in all the operations and decision making.

Green and Sustainable Kemi for Companies project promotes directly two of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: “11 Sustainable cities and communities” and “12 Responsible consumption and production” and indirectly several other SDGs.

 

Eija Kinnunen
Project manager: Green and Sustainable Kemi for Companies
Sustainability coordinator of city of Kemi

 

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