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Russia–Finland
6 June 2019
09:00—10:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Russian-Finnish relations are growing stronger

It is delightful to see Russian-Finnish relations grow stronger, despite the hard times we live in and continued anti-Russian rhetoric of some EU countries. Traditionally active political dialogue on the highest level is the foundation of the mutual course. <…> It is particularly valuable that you [the citizens of Finland, – Ed.] show adamant strength in promoting bilateral cooperation in big projects despite notorious political limitations — Sergei Ivanov, Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport.

Waste management is a promising cooperation area for the two countries

Following the orders of President Putin, we’ve launched the ‘Environment’ national project. It pays a great deal of attention to waste sorting. <…> If we sort solid waste everything we find there – glass, plastic, metal, cardboard, biomass – everything comes from Russia. It is evident we can create a closed-cycle economy in Russia, we have everything we need for it — Dmitry Kobylkin, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.

It is obvious that a closed-cycle economy is the object of our mutual interest — Sergei Ivanov, Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport.

Closed circular bioeconomy and waste management are the key elements of our future cooperation with Russia and with other countries — Jari Gustafsson, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of the Republic of Finland.

I am confident that those who invest in bioeconomy are going the right way. They’re on the right side of history. <…> Today, 58% of waste [in Finland, – Ed.] is urban waste that is used for energy, while 41% is recycled. The remaining 1% is waste. If we look at those numbers in Russia they are not quite there yet — Aho Esko, Prime Minister of Finland (1991–1995); Executive Chairman of the Board, East Office of Finnish Industries.

The experience in deep processing of secondary waste that the Finnish have is particularly of interest. This waste becomes the materials for new goods, often times of equal or even superior quality — Denis Butsayev, General Director, Russian Environmental Operator Public Law Company .

ISSUES
Low level of waste processing in Russia

Indeed, only 7% of all solid communal waste is processed in Russia today. It is a problem. We are far behind the civilized world here, we have never really addressed this issue — Sergei Ivanov, Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport.

Nearly 5% of all waste is processed in Russia, the rest is buried. This is a huge problem, but a huge opportunity at the same time. Waste can be reshaped, turned into a resource, and provide a business opportunity — Aho Esko, Prime Minister of Finland (1991–1995); Executive Chairman of the Board, East Office of Finnish Industries.

Waste management demands a lot of attention, especially if we want it to be a part of closed-cycle economy. <…> Every ton of plastic you recycle crosses out 1.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. It is important in terms of environmental protection, and this way you avoid polluting the ocean — Pekka Lundmark, President, CEO, Fortum Corporation.

Old recycling methods do not work

By 2050, we will need another 4 planet Earths to properly recycle the waste using old methods — Mari Pantsar, Director for Carbon-Neutral Circular Economy, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.

SOLUTIONS
Building waste management infrastructure

The real waste reform will start when we build 200 sorting and recycling plants — Sergei Ivanov, Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport.

We would like to build the so-called technological chain together with our Finnish colleagues in the nearest future. <…> In order for that to happen, we already need to have waste sorting, loading, utilization, and burial in a unified technological cycle, possibly with just one partner — Denis Butsayev, General Director, Russian Environmental Operator Public Law Company .

Development of renewable energy and recycled materials production

Adversaries of alternative energy used to say that Russia has so much gas alternative energy sources are pointless as they’re more expensive. It used to be true, so the discussion went on for 10 years. <…> Now the discussion is over loud and clear: Russia needs renewable energy — Anatoliy Chubais, President, Association for the Development of Renewable Energy (ADRE); Chairman of the Executive Board, RUSNANO Corporation .

We need to switch to waste-free, carbon-free economy. Renewable energy alone is not enough, it is only half the problem. The other half is the materials we use and how we use them. <…> Different countries need to join their forces not only in efficiency of usage, but in the creating the materials in such a way that they could be recycled — Marc Palahi, Director, European Forest Institute.

The best way to recycle is to design the product that is easy and comfortable to recycle from the get-go — Pekka Lundmark, President, CEO, Fortum Corporation.

Designing plastic waste technology

We all need to contribute to collecting and recycling plastic. <…> Plastic is a great replacement for a certain type of blast furnace fuel, the so-called pulverized coal. Europe has a great track record of using chipped plastic instead of pulverized coal — Alexey Mordashov, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Severstal.

Incentivizing recycling

How can we motivate our custmores, the consumers, to take part in recycling? Where is their motivation? — Elisa Markula, President, Chief Executive Officer, Tikkurila Oyj.

We should motivate the business to make the process of turning waste into energy an attractive one — Markku Terasvasara, President, Chief Executive Officer, Outotec.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS