Finland’s Moonshots for Green Growth | Hero

The Green Transition Is an Opportunity Finland Cannot Afford to Miss

The green transition is one of the biggest drivers for change during the current and coming decades. Globally, it is estimated that the required climate-aligned investments will total between $100 trillion and $150 trillion by 2050, representing an average of $3 trillion to $5 trillion per year. 1 1 Boston Consulting Group and Global Financial Markets Association, Climate Finance Markets and the Real Economy, December 2020, Notes: 1 Boston Consulting Group and Global Financial Markets Association, Climate Finance Markets and the Real Economy, December 2020, EU regulation (e.g., Fit for 55) reinforces the transition, triggering green demand across industries. Tapping into green growth is an opportunity that Finland cannot afford to miss: over the past decade, Finland’s GDP growth has been trailing other Nordic countries 2 2 The World Bank, National accounts data and EOCD National Accounts data files, Notes: 2 The World Bank, National accounts data and EOCD National Accounts data files, and its budget deficit has increased. 3 3 State Treasury Finland, Statistics on central government debt, Notes: 3 State Treasury Finland, Statistics on central government debt,

To ensure that Finland seizes this opportunity, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Climate Leadership Coalition (CLC) initiated the Moonshot work and interviewed over 60 stakeholders comprising company and industry representatives, researchers and academia with sustainability expertise, senior ministry officials, and representatives from the largest political parties. The report showcases how, through the five Moonshots, Finland can simultaneously drive growth and thereby well-being, reach its own ambitious climate targets, and become greater than its size in solving the climate crisis.

“Finland’s main export sectors—machinery, forest products, metals, and chemicals—will remain the same, but they need to transform within to remain competitive in the green transition.”
Antti Herlin, Chair, KONE and Chair, Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation

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Finland Has Several Competitive Advantages to Tap into Green Demand…


Finland has a unique starting position to be a forerunner in providing green solutions. As tangible sources of competitive advantage, Finland has valuable natural resources for the green transition, including forests (more than 75% of the country's land area is covered by forest) 4 4 Metsäteollisuus, Metsäteollisuus numeroina, August 2022,
Notes: 4 Metsäteollisuus, Metsäteollisuus numeroina, August 2022,
and minerals (Finland is the only European country with access to all minerals needed for batteries). 5 5 Helsingin Sanomat, Suomen talous voisi saada yllättävän vauhdittajan paljon parjatuista kaivoksista – mineraalivarantojen arvo on peräti 500 miljardia euroa, February 2018,
Notes: 5 Helsingin Sanomat, Suomen talous voisi saada yllättävän vauhdittajan paljon parjatuista kaivoksista – mineraalivarantojen arvo on peräti 500 miljardia euroa, February 2018,
Moreover, roughly 90% of power generation is already carbon neutral, and with increasing wind power capacity, the renewable energy generation is growing rapidly. 6 6 Statistics Finland, Production of Electricity and Heat, Notes: 6 Statistics Finland, Production of Electricity and Heat,

As intangible advantages, Finland can leverage its export industries’ existing competitiveness in process efficiency and digitalization—levers needed for the green transition. The Finnish workforce is highly educated and digitally skilled with Finland ranking 1st in the EU’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). 7 7 European Commission, Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2022: Finland, September 2022, Notes: 7 European Commission, Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2022: Finland, September 2022, Finally, Finland as a nation is committed to a green future with one of the world's highest corporate SBTi engagements and one of the most ambitious climate targets in the world—climate neutral by 2035 target set in law.


…and Surprisingly Many Growth Opportunities across Key Value Chains

Finland can maximize its growth and handprint by providing solutions to the five consumer-facing value chains that account for nearly all global GHG emissions when considering end-to-end value chains from raw materials to end-of-life: Housing (~35% of global GHG emissions), Food (~30%), Travel (~20%), Fashion (~10%), and Consumer products (~5%).

The report reveals a total of 28 green growth opportunities for Finnish companies across key value chains. Common themes include, for example, innovative materials, sustainable production processes, supply chain optimization to reduce waste, sustainable product design, and more energy-efficient usage of goods and services.

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  • Finland’s Moonshots for Green Growth | Exhibit 2
  • Finland’s Moonshots for Green Growth - Exhibit 3

The Five Moonshots for Green Growth

The report identifies five Moonshots for green growth to future-proof Finland's existing export sectors and create new industrial mainstays, having a total export potential of €85 billion to €100 billion by 2035. The identified Moonshots lean on Finland’s lasting competitive advantages and have the potential to help the country make significant leaps in terms of exports and carbon handprint.

In addition, the Moonshots are not the province of one or two companies but of a larger stakeholder ecosystem, bringing businesses in the value chain together and leveraging academia and research institutions. Finally, the government can play a role as a catalyst, enabling the Moonshots to realize their full potential.



Vision: Finland as the leader in providing holistic net-positive living offering, incl. wooden construction, net-zero living solutions, and demand response systems

Export potential: €9-12 billion by 2035

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Vision: Finland as the global leader in developing and supplying advanced bio-based solutions, incl. circular textile fibers, circular consumer packaging, long-lasting consumer products, and advanced lightweight biomaterials

Export potential: €10-13 billion by 2035

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Finland Moonshots | Decarbonization Technology and Services


Vision: Finland as the forerunner in providing smart technology solutions for high-emitting industrial processes, incl. electrification, lifecycle services, and energy system optimization

Export potential: €30-32 billion by 2035

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Vision: Finland with a circular battery ecosystem, and Finland as the leading supplier of green specialty steel, and other metals in Europe (e.g., for advanced applications in automotive and aviation)

Export potential: €27-29 billion by 2035

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Vision: Finland as a competitive country for producing green hydrogen-enabled solutions, incl. green steel, synthetic fuels, green ammonia-based fertilizers, and food proteins

Export potential: €10-12 billion by 2035

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The Acceleration Roadmap: What Government Can Do

Finland’s ultimate success in the green transition depends on actions taken now. There are several levers to catalyze green growth and unlock the full potential of the Moonshots. Levers include accelerating green investments, catalyzing domestic green demand, ensuring prerequisites for green growth, and positioning Finland as the forerunner in green solutions.

“There will be significant amount of climate-aligned investments globally and it is important to attract some of these investments to Finland. Also, Finland needs to shift its R&D funding increasingly to more disruptive green technologies – incremental improvements in productivity will not be enough.”
Juha Majanen, Permanent State Secretary, Ministry of Finance

Accelerating Green Investments

Attract green investments to Finland by ensuring predictable, and profitable operating environment, streamlining permit processes, removing bureaucracy and regulatory bottlenecks, and sharing the risk in pilot and demonstration stages.

In order to attract green investments, predictable and profitable operating environment is needed, e.g., in terms of taxation (such as electricity tax). Moreover, as recommended by the OECD, Finland’s government could more actively remove bottlenecks for foreign direct investments by streamlining inefficient and burdensome policies and reducing bureaucracy.8 Permit processes could be streamlined in construction and operational areas such as wind power development.

Finally, private-sector funding is often tied to short-term projects, and investors expect rapid returns. Yet government can support academia and first movers in scaling emerging technologies and bringing them to the point of commercialization by sharing the risk in pilot and demonstration stages. Fertile areas for R&D funding include, for example, industry electrification, energy use optimization, and circularity, especially in the emerging battery value chain.

8. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), The Impact of Regulation on International Investment in Finland, May 2021,

Catalyzing Domestic Green Demand

Enable first-mover advantage and international expansion through public sector procurement, policies and subsidies that accelerate green demand domestically.

To gain first-mover advantage and achieve economies of scale, sufficient demand for new offering is required. Often, companies scale abroad after first having conquered the home market. In the green transition, government can accelerate domestic demand through procurement policies. For example, government can increase demand for zero-emission buildings and wooden construction by renovating existing public buildings and opting for wooden building materials in new public construction (e.g., schools).

Government can also encourage private-sector demand and investments through incentives and policies. For example, zoning rules can promote wooden construction and net-zero living. Through blending mandates, government can catalyze the development and adoption of new sustainable fuels. Furthermore, subsidies can enable Finnish solution providers to pilot decarbonization technology and services domestically before scaling abroad.

Ensuring Prerequisites for Growth

Ensure rapid scaling of new technologies and solutions by educating and attracting future talent, securing national electricity grid capacity and stability, and coordinating Centers of Excellence to facilitate value chain collaboration.

Any one of the five Moonshots will require expertise and R&D to successfully take off. For example, wooden construction requires architects specialized in building with wooden materials, such as cross-laminated timber, while bio-based products and materials will need increasing know-how and resources in bioeconomy across industrial use cases. Consequently, revised or new higher-level education pathways and degrees are required to address the emerging expertise needs driven by the green transition. In addition to educating its own workforce, Finland should attract international students and workforce.

Acknowledging that the full potential of the Moonshots will require national coordination and strategic planning across ministries and public institutions, the Finnish government can build on its existing National Climate and Energy Strategy. For example, it can provide planning support for green hydrogen efforts that need access to renewable energy and freshwater.

Finally, developing competitive green offerings requires co-development and collaboration among different value chain players. Ideally, universities and research institutions also contribute to the broader ecosystem. Centers of Excellence can significantly accelerate the exchange of ideas, drive innovation, and facilitate coordination among ecosystem players. These Centers can also support in attracting investment, talent, and partners. By placing the Centers outside the capital region, close to the relevant natural resources, Finland can create jobs and drive attractiveness of less populated areas in Finland.

Positioning Finland as the Forerunner in Green Solutions

Generate and channel green demand to Finland e.g., through an online go-to-market platform, a world-leading Green Tech event, and a PR strategy that showcases spearhead offering.

Finland can generate and channel green demand by positioning itself as a leader in green technologies. First, an easy-to-navigate online platform could showcase Finland’s comprehensive offering in green tech and decarbonization solutions in one place (similar to the one Denmark has on its State of Green website). By structuring offering according to key sectors, global companies could learn about the latest green technology and solutions applicable to their businesses, and Finland’s numerous green tech companies would get an effective go-to-market platform.

Second, Finland could organize an annual, world-leading Green Tech event in Finland (such as Slush) to gather together green tech companies, foreign investors, and global companies looking for green solutions. Finally, a green growth PR strategy promoting Finland’s spearhead offering and key milestones —such as the first circular battery or the world's first net-positive high-rise building—would earn valuable presence in international media and attract further interest toward Finland’s green offering.

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