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Residents of Porvoo accelerate towards a sustainable future and lifestyles

The Earth’s resources are becoming scarcer and climate change is progressing. How does this affect everyday life in Finland, and what kind of services and products do we need in order to adopt sustainable lifestyles more easily?

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All of this is investigated in the Sustainable Lifestyles Accelerator, where households try what it means in practice to live according to the resources of one Earth and what kind of measures need to be adopted to achieve this. The objective is to find everyday solutions to reduce the carbon footprint and gather information for developing a more sustainable Porvoo.

The development of sustainable lifestyles brings with it immense business potential, which is why local companies are also invited to join the accelerator. Companies will offer households their products or services to support sustainable lifestyles. The objective is to also discuss business and services that could enable a sustainable lifestyle in the future.

The Climate Puzzle as a tool to achieve a sustainable future

In the accelerator, households go through four stages: carbon footprint calculation, a sustainable lifestyle plan for 2030, a testing period and accelerator results.

  1. Footprint calculation

    At the start of the accelerator, households complete a survey that is used by sustainable future expert company D-mat oy, which coordinates the accelerator, to calculate the carbon footprint of each household.

  2. Sustainable lifestyle plan for 2030

    Once the carbon footprints have been determined, households get to draft a low-carbon lifestyle plan for themselves up to 2030. The plan is created with the help of the Climate Puzzle designed by D-mat oy. The Climate Puzzle illustrates the necessary scale and significance of the required everyday changes. The Climate Puzzle also guides the households in discussing how the offering of society and companies should change to make sustainable lifestyles easier and quicker to implement.

  3. Testing period

    Next, the households choose the measures they want to try from their plan. The measures are tested for four weeks. During the testing period, the households will receive tips and information on sustainable lifestyles to support their tests. The households are also able to utilise the products and services offered by the companies involved in the accelerator during the testing period.

  4. Accelerator results

    In the last phase of the accelerator, the households will be presented with their individual results. The results will contain information on how the measures and actions implemented during the testing period impacted the household’s carbon footprint and on the overall impact of the household’s plan for 2030 on the household’s carbon footprint.

The city as sustainable lifestyle enabler

The objective of the accelerator is to simply offer households information on sustainable lifestyles and enable an easy and attractive way for households to try a more sustainable lifestyle in practice. After each accelerator round, the households that have participated have been pleasantly surprised that a sustainable lifestyle does not require significant sacrifices. On the contrary! A sustainable lifestyle is in fact seen to improve quality of life.

Many Finnish cities and municipalities have ambitious climate goals that can only be reached in cooperation with residents and companies. In addition to engaging households and providing them with information, the objective of the accelerator is to gather information for the City of Porvoo and companies to support the development of sustainable everyday lifestyles. In practice, the city enables sustainable everyday life for households, which is why the city must also take the households’ needs into account to truly be able to develop and grow in a sustainable manner. The accelerator offers an excellent option for households and the city to interact with each other – and build a sustainable future together.

What do households want from the public sector? The wishes of residents are often related to public transport, city acquisitions, bike and pedestrian lanes and electric vehicle charging points, for example. Households also hope that accelerators would be part of city operations in the future, as well. The city has the means to work towards all these wishes through its own actions, or at least serve as the messenger in making residents’ wishes heard. So let’s continue accelerating towards a sustainable everyday life and future!

Image credit: D-mat Oy

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For further information, please contact: 

Sanna Päivärinta, Sustainable Development Expert, City of Porvoo sanna.paivarinta @porvoo.fi