Finland’s capital city has launched Think Sustainably, an app to help its communities make sustainable choices.
The service was born out of a survey conducted in Helsinki in 2018, when two thirds of residents identified climate change as their major concern for the future of the city.
Think Sustainably gives residents and visitors information and tools to help them rethink their typical behaviour and make more sustainable choices.
Kaisa-Reeta Koskinen, the director of Helsinki’s ‘Carbon Neutral Helsinki Initiative’, said: “The shift towards carbon neutrality requires both major structural changes and everyday actions. Individual choices matter. According to recent studies, in order to stop further climate warming, every Finn should reduce their carbon footprint from 10.3 tonnes to 2.5 tonnes by the year 2030. If one person in each of the 2.6m households existing in Finland would reduce their carbon footprint by 20%, we could reach 38% of the goals set for Finland in the Paris climate agreement for reducing emissions.”
Restaurants, shops, and accommodation are filtered through the app against criteria developed by the City of Helsinki in collaboration with think tank Demos Helsinki, sustainability experts, and local interest groups.
The app also provides route planning for users to find lower or zero-emission transport options across the city and gives the total CO2 emissions in grams, per person per trip.
Helsinki was awarded the most innovative region by the European Commission in June.
Laura Aalton, CEO of Helsinki Marketing, said: “Helsinki is the perfect test-bed for solutions that can later be scaled-up for the world’s megacities. Operating like a city-scale laboratory, Helsinki is eager to experiment with policies and initiatives that would not be possible elsewhere. The City is able to effect change in this way because of its compact size, well-functioning infrastructure and well-developed knowledge-economy cluster.
“Helsinki is not finished developing its sustainable policies but is ready to make systematic efforts, both big and small, which work towards achieving a more sustainable world, we hope that others can also learn from our experiments.”
Think Sustainably is still in pilot mode but is available for public use, gathering user data in order to complete a review of its impact in 2020.