Innovation: Mitigation of and Adaptation to the Climate Change in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area

Last update: 11.07.2013
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urban area‚ climate protection‚
Directly and indirectly, through their activities and the services they provide, municipal authorities produce significant greenhouse gas emissions. In principle, municipalities can change their working practices and methods of delivering services to reduce emissions, and can provide good practice advice based on these experiences.
Although people and organisations in general are aware of climate change and its consequences as well as of the required changes in their behaviour in order to mitigate and adapt to it, CO2 emissions are not decreasing rapidly enough.

Climate change mitigation is necessary but also adaptation to the consequences of climate change impacts and climate variability is important. The four cities of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and regional authorities prepare for these consequences and prepared a regional climate change adaptation strategy.


The Goals of the JULIA 2030 project were firstly to implement and demonstrate new methods, procedures and tools and to develop existing tools to assist the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Finland, in mitigation of climate change in the areas of public procurement, use of public premises, transport and waste management.
Secondly, the aim of the project was to prepare a regional adaptation to climate change strategy for the Metropolitan Area.
The Julia 2030 project was set up to implement and demonstrate new methods, procedures and tools, and to develop existing methods, procedures and tools as part of a climate strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Helsinki metropolitan area.

The project actions would concentrate on public procurement, use of public premises, transport and waste management. The project would develop information on predictions of the regional effects of climate change. It was anticipated that such information would be used in the planning and development of municipal buildings and infrastructure. The project would result in the development of a regional strategy for adaptation to climate change in the Helsinki metropolitan area.

A main aim of the project was to demonstrate and verify the positive impact that CO2 calculators – developed for city residents and municipal administration personnel – play in mitigating climate change in a municipal area.

Expected results of the project included:

1. 5% decrease in CO2 emissions for public procurement (compared with previous similar purchases).
2. 8% decrease in CO2 emissions from electricity consumption on public premises.
3. 28% decrease in CO2 emissions from transport in 2030.Project activities would include raising awareness of different stakeholders of the need to mitigate and adapt to climate change in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
The ‘Julia 2030’ project developed and demonstrated opportunities to reduce CO2 emissions. It carried out extensive campaigns to promote awareness of CO2 emissions and ways to reduce them by making informed choices.The project initially promoted environmental responsibility in a wide range of workplaces through the creation of ‘eco-supporters’. Eco-support activities begin by appointing and training one or more eco-supporters. The state of environmental affairs at the workplace is then reviewed to determine any improvements that could be made. Finally, the eco supporters guide and inspire their colleagues in implementing new ecological practices.

Based on experiences gained in Helsinki, a common framework programme was created for training new eco-supporters (a further 200 was the target) with a strong emphasis on climate issues and with the aim of spreading this approach to other municipalities in the Helsinki Region. This target was greatly exceeded, with a total of 640 new eco-supporters trained in Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen, Kirkkonummi and Kerava during the project.The ‘Julia 2030’ project developed and tested CO2 calculators for several sectors, including public premises. It tested a calculator for monitoring the greenhouse gas emissions of 32 selected pilot premises in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen, Kerava and Kirkkonummi. These sites comprised schools, day care centres, libraries, public swimming pools, community centres, offices, depots and a health centre. The aim was to cut the emissions generated in using the pilot premises by 10% between 2009 and 2011. Most of the GHG emissions of the pilot premises came from heating and consumption of electricity.

The emissions from work-related travelling by staff, paper consumption and waste were also calculated. The combined GHG emissions of the pilot sites fell by 8% between 2009 and 2011.In the area of green public procurement, general guidelines were drawn up for municipalities on how to take into consideration GHG emissions and other environmental aspects. These guidelines include a comprehensive study of public procurement regulations and practical instructions on how to arrange competitive tendering for various purchases of goods and services.

A specific JUHILAS tool for calculating the carbon footprint of a product was developed for five product groups. These tools are used in competitive tendering for calculating the GHG emissions of a product over its entire lifecycle. The resulting emissions figure is used as a criterion for comparing tenders submitted in competitive tendering. The calculators are the first of their kind, and are based on a lifecycle format complying with ISO standards.

The project also specified lifecycle-based GHG emission factors for 15 types of waste identified in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area waste management system. The calculation of GHG emissions arising from waste management were incorporated into the Petra waste benchmarking service used by businesses and public administration, and into the accounting system used for monitoring waste flows in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

A new Konsta waste calculator was developed for use by households, enabling them to assess their own waste volumes and the resulting GHG emissions. A new model called Emmi was developed for forecasting municipal waste volumes. This enables waste management professionals to predict trends in municipal waste volumes and to assess the factors that affect the amount of waste generated.In the transport sector, the project provided CO2 calculators to help residents choose the best modes of personal mobility from the point of view of climate change mitigation.

The Journey Planner CO2 calculator is very user-friendly, as CO2 emissions are displayed automatically when searching for the optimal transport route. A chocolate calculator was incorporated into the walking and cycling section of the Journey Planner. This shows how much energy an average person would use to make the selected journey in terms of calories or pieces of chocolate. The Jälki carbon calculator for weekday transport paints a broader picture of climate emissions, and also provides tips on more climate friendly ways of getting around, encouraging users to prefer walking, cycling, public transport and car pooling.

Within the ‘Julia 2030’ project, a regional climate change adaptation strategy was developed. This strategy aims at preparing the region for the consequences of and to reduce the region’s vulnerability to climate change. Translating efforts to reduce CO2 emissions into clear policy initiatives will require a long time. Nevertheless, cost savings can be achieved in the running of public buildings, the procurement of goods, the selection of transport modes and the handling of waste.

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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Mitigation of and Adaptation to the Climate Change in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area - From Strategy To Implementation

JULIA 2030

01.01.2009 to 31.12.2012

completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.


Field: Private and public administration, Sewerage, Waste collection, treatment and disposal activities, Water collection, treatment and supply (Finland)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Ms. KANKAANPÄÄ Susanna


Phone: +358-915611




Role in project: Associated partner


Field: Private and public administration (Finland)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Mr. POHJONEN Perttu





Role in project: Associated partner