Dacepo (Developing Alholmen Circular Economy Platform), a regional project in Alholmen, is now in the home straight, and the participants are eager to continue their efforts. Investments in circular solutions will enhance raw material use in the area and bolster AIP’s profile as a responsible workplace.
In cooperation with Sweco Finland Oy, a consultancy, the companies in Alholmen Industrial Park (AIP) have surveyed opportunities for boosting the circular economy in the area. The industrial park’s green transition has been underway for several years, and the recently completed project clearly indicates the best places for continued investments in exploring and creating circular solutions.
“The companies in Alholmen Industrial Park want to more thoroughly explore ways to strengthen their circular efforts,” says Jarl Sundqvist, CEO of Jakobstad Region Development Company Concordia, describing the background to the project. “The main goal of the survey is to create solutions to save the Earth’s resources. However, a more prominent green profile also has a positive impact on the region’s image as a responsible workplace, attracting competence to the region.”
The project has received funds from the fund Alueiden kestävän kasvun ja elinvoiman tukeminen AKKE (Supporting sustainable growth and vitality in the regions) which has been granted by the Regional Council of Ostrobothnia.
The survey was conducted as a set of workshops and discussions, with Sweco and AIP’s environmental team at the helm. The environmental team comprises environmental experts from the area’s nine industrial companies. Björn Åkerlund, Managing Director of Alholmens Kraft, is one of the environmental team’s driving forces.
“Although the companies in Alholmen have been working with circular models for a long time, most of them have focused on their own operations. We’ve lacked a joint forum for development work. Thanks to the Dacepo project, we now have a platform that can serve as the foundation for continued work,” says Åkerlund.
The project’s goal was to identify raw material side streams and other resources in the area. This will result in a report used as the basis for actual investments in continued sustainability work.
“The regional Dacepo project supports the development of a circular economy vision at Alholmen Industrial Park. In this work, enhancing the resource efficiency at the area and the identification of potential, industrial side streams have been the leading themes,” says Tomas Norrena, Development Manager, Circular Economy from Sweco Finland Oy. “It has been rewarding to see the activity of various industrial actors in these innovative discussions. At its best, circular economy enables new business opportunities and connects companies from different industries. Further adaption of circularity in the Jakobstad region can also attract industrial-scale investments to the area and support the Jakobstad region to stand out in the near future.”
With an overall turnover of 1.3 billion euros, AIP is a driving engine for the region’s economy. The wide range of companies, ecosystems and sectors is both a challenge and an opportunity for developing the region into a circular economy platform.
“We want to set more ambitious targets for circular operations in the area, with AIP as the linking factor,” says Tommy Björklund, Chair of AIP’s Board of Directors. “The Dacepo survey also indicates where we can dig deeper and which focal areas in Alholmen are best positioned to develop into circular solutions. This information helps us achieve continuity in our sustainability efforts and further develop AIP – and eventually, develop the area into an eco-industrial park.”