Baltic Approaches to Handling Plastic Pollution under a Circular Economy Context

International Green Governance Conference in Tallinn

15 November 2023
On Thursday, November 16, the conference " Driving change: empowering sustainability through green governance" will take place at Tallinn Creative Hub as part of Tallinn's Green Technology Week.
Technical details

The conference aims to bring together cities from the Baltic Sea region and beyond, as well as businesses and experts, to discuss green public procurement and support for sustainable consumption and production. The conference will be opened by the Mayor of Tallinn, Mihhail Kõlvart, and will feature presentations throughout the day by many experts and practitioners in the field of green governance. The event will be moderated by Heidrun Fammler from the Baltic Environmental Forum.

The opening presentation of the conference will be delivered by Evelin Piirsalu from the Stockholm Environment Institute Tallinn Centre. The presentation’s theme is “Green Public Procurement – a great policy instrument for achieving Green Governance,” addressing the potential and obstacles of environmentally friendly procurement and discussing how green procurement can be implemented. According to Evelin Piirsalu, green public procurement plays a crucial role in the circular economy and sustainable business. “Public procurement significantly influences the economy because the purchasing power of the entire public sector is substantial. When procurement is based on the principles of the circular economy and environmental sustainability, it has a significant impact on the creation of sustainable business models and the development of products that align with the circular economy,” said Piirsalu.

Kai Klein, from Baltic Environmental Forum Estonia, emphasizes the key role of the public sector in ensuring a safe and healthy environment. “When hazardous chemicals are taken into account in procuring products and services, it motivates companies to produce safer products, influences the market to offer more sustainable solutions, and sets an example for the private sector and consumers when making choices,” explained Klein, emphasizing the principle of green procurement.

At the conference, Tallinn’s deputy mayor Joosep Vimm will share the city’s experiences with the transition to the reusable dishes. “It has been equally important to create guidelines from which public sector organizations as customers proceed, as well as to give companies the opportunity to test different systems at different events. I believe that the three large events this summer where reusable dishes were used voluntarily are proof that our approach has been suitablet. Tallinn is ready to share its best practices with the organizers, to whom this obligation will extend from 2024,” said Vimm.

During the conference, Tallinn Deputy Mayor Joosep Vimm and the Chair of the World Future Council, Alexandra Wandel, will open the NonHazCity Building Award competition for the first time. The NonHazCity Building Award is the first policy prize recognizing best policies in construction in the Baltic Sea Region at national, regional or local level. It aims to highlight policies protecting people and the environment from hazardous chemicals in buildings, integrating circularity, toxic-free & climate neutrality. The aim of the award is to inspire citizens, decision- makers and business and to showcase innovative solutions.

The conference is organized by the City of Tallinn – European Green Capital 2023, the Stockholm Environment Institute Tallinn Centre, and the Baltic Environmental Forum, and it is part of Tallinn’s Green Technology Week, funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme.

The working language of the conference is English.