Tietoa Green dealista

 

 

Green Deal - a voluntary way to promote the circular economy and climate change mitigation

 

A Green Deal is a voluntary agreement between the State and a body representing the business and industry sector or e.g. the municipal sector. The aim is to take joint action to promote the sustainable development goals. Green Deals seek solutions to matters such as climate change and promoting the circular economy in Finland. The agreements may contribute to better implementation of the legislation or complement the law. For example, the objectives set in the agreements may be stricter than in the law or certain objectives may be achieved without further regulation.

Green Deals and the commitments made under these are part of Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development introduced by the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development. Society's Commitment represents an understanding of what sustainable development means. It sets out the practices and objectives through which public administration, together with other players, will promote sustainable development.

 

Sets of criteria for Green Deals specifically designed for this purpose

The parties to the agreement make a commitment to reach ambitious and monitorable targets towards achieving environmentally and socially significant impacts. Green Deals seek outcomes that can be reached in a relatively short term, and the agreement also sets out the practices to monitor them. The parties to the agreement try to produce added value compared to the current situation by seeking new solutions and operating models to address the selected challenges. When preparing Green Deals, a comprehensive perspective must always be adopted on the topic, also to make sure that the agreement does not interfere with passing any necessary legislation.

Green Deals are not concluded with individual companies, but the other party to the agreement may be e.g. an industry association or a group of municipalities. Participation is open to all interested parties that are relevant in terms of the topic of the Green Deal concerned, provided that the actors are able to credibly commit themselves to the objectives and measures.

 

Green Deals are prepared in broad cooperation among stakeholders

Green Deals supplement the range of Government’s steering instruments and offer a new kind of approach to cooperation between the central government and other stakeholders. The first step is to consider how the desired outcome can be achieved and whether a Green Deal is the most suitable instrument. If the decision is to continue the preparation of the agreement, the most appropriate cooperation partners are mapped out and the negotiations with the stakeholders interested in getting involved are started. Matters to be decided during the negotiation phase include the objectives and measures needed to reach these, role of the different parties to the agreement, reporting and monitoring of the outcomes, and preparation of possible further measures. An individual company undertakes to promote the objectives of the agreement and to implement the measures specified in it by making a separate commitment to the Green Deal concerned. Information on the impacts of the Green Deals and the outcomes achieved is published on the sitoumus2050 website.

 

Flexibility and smooth preparation the benefits of Green Deals

The main benefits of Green Deals include the often smoother preparation process compared to legislative drafting, which means that measures can be started more quickly, right after the negotiations have been completed and the Green Deal signed. The negotiations enable close interaction and dialogue between the different parties and strengthen their commitment to implementing the measures included in the agreement. The Green Deal model facilitates dialogue between different stakeholders so that new and innovative solutions can be found to challenges, to be implemented even in the short term.

Another benefit of these agreements is that the measures need not be specified in high detail in the same way as in legislation, but the content of the agreement allows more flexibility in terms of how the measures are carried out. The objectives and measures can be modified and updated at any time during the contract period if required by changes in the needs or circumstances. If it seems that a certain Green Deal will not achieve the desired outcome, alternative steering instruments may be considered.

A Green Deal is a good instrument e.g. when amendments to EU directives enable voluntary agreements, the agreement can be clearly limited to certain objectives and measures, and all parties to the agreement have a strong interest in working towards a common goal through the agreement. However, the decision on the most suitable steering instrument must always be made on a case-by-case basis. Ideally, the commitment to the agreement may provide the companies with the opportunity to take the necessary measures to achieve the objectives in a way that suits their business the best. The companies may be trailblazers and pave the way for the whole sector.

 

How to participate in a Green Deal?

Companies may undertake to promote the objectives set out in a certain Green Deal and take the measures specified in the agreement by making the commitment approved by the relevant ministry at the sitoumus2050.fi website. In their commitments, the companies specify their own objectives and measures according to the line of business they represent. Associations other than the contracting parties may make a commitment to a Green Deal on a case-by-case basis. You can make a commitment to a specific Green Deal through the tab Make a commitment.

 

Questions about Green Deals?

Leena-Kaisa Piekkari

Specialist, Circular Economy

Ministry of the Environment

leena-kaisa.piekkari@ym.fi, +358 29 5250 055