19.11.2021

OECD experts assess Tallinn's transition to circular economy

A delegation from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is in Tallinn this week to prepare a report on Tallinn's transition to a circular economy. The delegation met with representatives from different sectors, both ministries and agencies, and on Friday Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart met with the OECD representatives.

Photo: Ain Saarna

The OECD will help Tallinn to prepare recommendations on how to make the transition to a more resource-efficient circular economy by autumn 2022. On the basis of these recommendations, a development plan for Tallinn's circular economy will be drawn up. The city of Tallinn’s objectives in the programme are to analyse the principles, opportunities and resources of the circular economy, to assess the future potential of the circular economy in Tallinn, involve stakeholders and learn from the experiences of other cities. 

"I am pleased that Tallinn has the opportunity to work with the OECD to gradually move towards a circular economy in the city," said Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart. "Tallinn as a green capital has set circular economy as one of its priorities. Together, we must move towards a cleaner economy, so that as much of the waste we generate as possible finds a new use."

The meeting with the Mayor was attended by Oriana Romano, Head of the Water Governance and Circular Economy Unit at the OECD Centre of Entrepreneurship, and policy analyst Ander Eizaguirre, as well as representatives of the Development and Foreign Cooperation Department and the Circular Economy Department of the Tallinn Strategic Management Office.

In order to prepare the report, the OECD experts will conduct interviews with various stakeholders in Tallinn this week, meeting with representatives of the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of Finance, the Tallinn City Office, the Tallinn Strategic Management Office, the City Planning Department, the Education Department and the City Property Department, Tallinn University, Tallinn University of Technology, the Estonian Academy of Arts, the Tallinn Centre of the Stockholm Environment Institute, the Port of Tallinn, the Hundipea project, Ülemiste City and many more. Interview topics include waste management, public procurement, construction, digital services, smart city, sustainability, climate neutrality, tourism and food.

Previous participants in the OECD Cities and Regions Circular Economy Programme include Groningen (Netherlands), Umeå (Sweden), Valladolid and Granada (Spain), Glasgow (Scotland), and Ireland as a region. The programme will provide participants with a framework of indicators to support decision-making in the transition to a circular economy, analyse and make recommendations on local socio-economic and environmental conditions and policies, support the alignment of circular economy policies with similar actions in other regions and learn from other cities.

The first version of the report will be presented in March 2022 and all stakeholders interviewed this week will have the opportunity to make improvements and recommendations. The preliminary findings of the report will be presented in April 2022 at the OECD's fourth Roundtable on Cities and Regions.

In spring 2022, the City of Tallinn, in cooperation with the OECD, will organise a policy seminar to discuss possible recommendations with stakeholders. The final OECD report is expected in October 2022. Tallinn's development strategy "Tallinn 2035", adopted in December last year, sets a goal of a gradual transition to the circular economy, including continued waste reduction and recycling.

The circular economy aims to ensure a cleaner, more resource-efficient and more competitive economy. Achieving real changes in consumption, production, planning, policies, lifestyles, culture and values will require holistic thinking and changes across the system, involving all stakeholders, improving cooperation between public authorities, businesses and NGOs and complementing existing networks.

Read more on the OECD website: http://www.oecd.org/regional/regional-policy/circular-economy-cities.htm

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