WCEF, or World Circular Economy Forum, is a global event focusing on the circular economy organised by The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. Every year, the forum brings together more than 4,000 business leaders, policymakers and experts from around the world to showcase the world’s best circular economy solutions. The first WCEF took place in Helsinki in June 2017. Since then, the event has toured around the world, including Japan, the Netherlands, Canada, Africa and also Finland. In 2024, WCEF was held in Brussels, Belgium, from 15 to 18 April 2024. We were there, and we brought many insights to be used and developed in the Porvoo region as well!

WCEF gathered around 1,500 participants from around the world in Brussels in April. In addition, thanks to the hybrid format, many also followed the event online. The accelerator event “The winning concept for circularity”, coordinated by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Circular Valley, was attended by a large number of listeners on the spot and more than 200 participants online. The event also featured Posintra and the STRIIM project. In addition, various events and meetings were organised during the WCEF with, for instance, Members of the European Parliament and other stakeholders.

The development company Posintra and the ongoing “STRIIM – Strengthening the regional industrial innovation model” project participated in the event, representing the promotion of the circular economy in Uusimaa, especially through cooperation between the public and private sectors. This time, the topic was discussed from the point of view of the Kilpilahti industrial area.

What was left of the event for us to work on and bring to Porvoo? 8 most important lessons and insights!

Less than a week in Brussels was very insightful and educational. The world’s largest event focusing on the circular economy also gave plenty of tips and ideas to bring home. We think it would be important to further develop these eight points that we realised at the event also in the Porvoo region:

1. Make Porvoo visible: It is of paramount importance that Porvoo is visible and included as part of Uusimaa and the RDI activities in the province. This requires active networking and, above all, development activities, which we have the opportunity to share in international forums.

2. Collaborating forward: Although there was a lot of movement at the top level in the presentations and speeches of the WCEF event, the speeches highlighted the increasingly important need for cooperation between all actors. No one can do it alone – even in business, competitors talk to each other when the goal is shared. Cooperation between different actors should be actively promoted, and priority should be given to cooperation between public and private sector actors.

3. More concreteness: In the circular economy, we have moved from pilot thinking to concrete action, and we need more of this. We need to learn more and more how the circular economy can be implemented in cooperation with different actors in the value chain towards a common goal – while creating added value for the end customer and cash flow for those implementing the change.

4. New opportunities and solutions: A variety of start-ups have a great place to point the way for new opportunities and solutions. In addition, supporting already established companies and networking between different actors are even more important in Porvoo, too.

5. Involving young people: More young participants were needed for the WCEF. In Porvoo, too, we must actively look to young people and strive to involve them more actively in making the future.

6. Legislation in a relevant position: The regulation of the circular economy and the green transition plays an extremely important role in the European Green Deal. The actors in the Porvoo region must also be up-to-date and participate in lobbying. It is equally important to strive to ensure that all actors are kept abreast of upcoming legislative reforms and their significance to their own activities.

7. Make Kilpilahti known: Although Kilpilahti is known to many especially as the Neste refinery area in Porvoo, there is still a lot of work to be done to make the entire industrial area known.

8. Networking: Meeting people, joint discussions and networking with each other are important. It is well known that the best ideas can come somewhere else than on the desktop!


Do you want to learn more about WCEF or our work on the green transition? Read more about the STRIIM project or contact:


Fredrik Pressler

Chief Executive Officer, Posintra

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