Exploring the Potential of Circular Economy to Mitigate Pressures on Biodiversity

47 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2022

See all articles by Enni Ruokamo

Enni Ruokamo

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute

Hannu Savolainen

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute

Jyri Seppälä

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute

Susanna Sironen

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute

Milja Räisänen

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute

Ari-Pekka Auvinen

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute

Date Written: February 28, 2022

Abstract

The effects of circular economy on biodiversity are poorly understood. This study provides observations on the approaches in assessing circular economy and illustrates, with a Finnish case study, the potential of circular economy to mitigate pressures on biodiversity. The case study focuses on the construction and real estate sectors, as well as the forest industry. The findings imply that circular economy actions that reduce the extraction of virgin raw materials and relieve land use pressures are effective. Improving material efficiency, increasing the cascade use of wood, and optimizing the use and reuse of materials and products, as well as extending the lifetime of buildings and optimizing space use, have a good potential for mitigating pressures on biodiversity in Finland. On the other hand, certain actions that possibly increase the use of forest resources (e.g., replacing fossil-based, concrete, or steel materials with wood-based solutions) may impair biodiversity if biodiversity-enhancing forest management practices are not utilized. Assessing the biodiversity impacts of the circular economy is challenging, and the need for further research and the development of data and assessment methods is clear.

Keywords: Biodiversity, Circular economy, Environment, Finland, Impact, Material efficiency

Suggested Citation

Ruokamo, Enni and Savolainen, Hannu and Seppälä, Jyri and Sironen, Susanna and Räisänen, Milja and Auvinen, Ari-Pekka, Exploring the Potential of Circular Economy to Mitigate Pressures on Biodiversity (February 28, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4046676 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4046676

Enni Ruokamo (Contact Author)

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute ( email )

Latokartanonkaari 11
Helsinki, 00790
Finland

Hannu Savolainen

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute ( email )

00260 Helsinki
Finland

Jyri Seppälä

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute ( email )

00260 Helsinki
Finland

Susanna Sironen

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute ( email )

00260 Helsinki
Finland

Milja Räisänen

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute ( email )

00260 Helsinki
Finland

Ari-Pekka Auvinen

Government of the Republic of Finland - Finnish Environment Institute ( email )

00260 Helsinki
Finland

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