Digitalization plays a major role in reducing the carbon footprint and in counteracting climate change. Technology companies have a critical role in empowering change in different sectors of society and in using innovative solutions to create a carbon-neutral Finland.
This year, climate action has, for obvious reasons, been overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic debate. While we focus on solving the acute crisis, however, we cannot allow ourselves to forget one of the greatest challenges of our time – climate change. It is important that we support ambitious action to counteract climate change at every level. In this work, companies and decision-makers are the main drivers.
The EU pandemic support package makes the speeding up of climate-friendly solutions very topical towards the end of the year and next year. The three billion euros assigned to Finland provide an important opportunity to support digitalization and to create carbon-reducing and climate-friendly solutions.
Technology companies are at the centre of this effort. Technology allows us to provide different parts of society with solutions that reduce emissions to a significant extent. New technology, for instance blockchain, IoT, AI and cloud services, make the efficient use of data possible and allow for services with reduced carbon emissions – they provide a way to reduce the consumption of energy and resources, to optimize logistics chains and to utilize the available capacity more efficiently. Real-time data helps us to improve information access and analysis, and also to solve problems in support of climate action.
Technology to support urban centres – can data help us achieve a carbon-neutral Finland?
Public actors, cities and municipalities in particular, have a major role in creating a carbon-neutral Finland. One concrete example is a joint project undertaken by the city of Vaasa, Vaasan Sähkö, Wärtsilä and TietoEVRY: a data platform that provides a comprehensive picture of the city’s emissions and models the results of different kinds of climate actions. This allows the parties to define the most efficient and cost-effective ways to reduce emissions and also to provide transparent tools in aid of decision-making. The aim is to make Vaasa one of the first carbon-neutral cities in the world – and there is no reason why we should not proceed to do the same for other cities in Scandinavia – and globally. Find out more about the project from our expert Fredrik Jansson’s blog.
In Norway, our data platform helps to make the city of Trondheim carbon-friendly, using an application that allows residents to calculate their own climate footprint directly on the basis of their consumption and lifestyle. The solution has been developed in cooperation with local businesses and service providers. We also have every prospect of bringing these solutions to other Scandinavian countries.
Today, eco-systems and a culture of experimentation are very important in producing innovations. Any action to counter climate change requires the cooperation of a number of different sectors as well as multidisciplinary expertise. The solutions in Vaasa and Trondheim were created as a result of cross-sectoral cooperation.