Developing Finland's Sustainable Finance Ecosystems
The reason for action
The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, outlines a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet. The subsequent 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) form the core of that agenda, which can only be achieved by developed and developing countries working in partnerships.
Reaching the ambitious SDGs by 2030, to which Finland is strongly committed, will require major societal transformations and drastically stepping up the pace of implementation of Agenda 2030 as we enter a decisive decade for people and the planet. While there is broad consensus that economic policy and financial flows should better serve Agenda 2030 implementation, there is a pressing need to develop and share lessons on how to concretely establish finance ecosystems that systematically mobilize SDG-aligned investments at the required scale and pace - locally, nationally and internationally.
The overall objective of the EU-funded project “Developing Finland’s Sustainable Finance Ecosystems” (2020-2022) is to contribute to increasing financing for ecosystems that provide solutions for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Finland and globally, and in which Finland has strong expertise. The project supports national authorities, beneficiary institutions, and stakeholders in deploying and harmonising sustainable finance practices and identifying solutions on how to enhance information exchange, better coordinate their activities, and share lessons learned.
Key actions and activities
In parallel to finalising and launching the Finnish Roadmap for Financing a Decade of SDG Action 2021, the project has during 2021-2022 focused on four pilot ecosystems, with the aim to concretely identify bottlenecks and solutions for mobilising SDG-aligned investments. The key findings and recommendations from the pilots, focusing on offshore wind power and sustainable protein production in Finland, as well as climate smart water solutions and vocational education in emerging countries, are presented in the report Financing SDG Transformations Experiences from four sustainable finance pilot ecosystems 2022.
The Finnish approach
The SDG finance approach and tools in Finland have been founded on two central building blocks. Firstly, the Roadmap has provided an overall framework for defining key elements that need to be in place to systematically tackle the SDG finance gap. The roadmap provides a national “game plan” for bringing relevant key stakeholders together and helping them to understand their respective roles in transforming the finance system. Secondly, the process developed and tested for defining and analysing the pilot ecosystems in 2021-2022 has provided concrete tools and guidance for putting things into action. The "deep dives” into the four pilot ecosystems, together with knowledge holders, investors, and relevant public sector stakeholders, has allowed to identify more specifically which kinds of financing modalities and instruments are needed, what kind of collaboration and capacity development is required, and who should take the lead in addressing identified barriers and bottlenecks “on the ground”.
Project completion and follow-up
In order to further help the uptake and implementation of the recommended actions, the project focused during its closing phase in summer 2022 on refining and communicating the recommendations. This shall facilitate information exchange and coordination between key partners, and help crystallize main lessons learned and tailor the recommended actions across ecosystems more broadly in Finland during 2022-2023. By actively sharing lessons learned from the SDG finance roadmap and pilot ecosystem processes, the project results can help scale up SDG finance more widely by EU peers and other international partners.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland coordinates the implementation of this project.
A roadmap on Finland's sustainable financing has been published in September 2021
- Sustainable Development Goals Finance Roadmap – Finnish Roadmap for Financing a Decade of SDG Action
- EU press release: Finland presents its roadmap to low carbon transition
Financing SDG Transformations – Experiences from four sustainable finance pilot ecosystems has been published in February 2022
- Financing SDG Transformations – Experiences from four sustainable finance pilot ecosystems
- Innovative finance solutions to accelerate sustainability transitions - Scoping study on the potential role of Energy Transition Impact Bonds (ETIB) to address rapidly increasing wind power employment needs 2022
Recommendations for how Finland can develop and better coordinate sustainable finance on national level, published in June 2022
Developing Finlands SDG finance ecosystem – Summary and lessons learned, published in July 2022
The project is funded by the European Union via the Structural Reform Support Programme and is carried out in cooperation with the Directorate General for Structural Reform Support of the European Commission.
The project is implemented by AARC Ltd. in association with Gaia Consulting Oy and Trinomics B.V.
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment:
Sari Tasa - sari.tasa(at)gov.fi
Gaia Consulting Oy:
Mikko Halonen - mikko.halonen(at)gaia.fi
Anna Laine - anna.laine(at)gaia.fi