Fifth Living Lab Meeting in Tartu

Event Date: 21 February, 2024

Community Fixing and Repair network development

On February 21st, the fifth Living Lab meeting, a collaboration between the Tartu City Government, Tartu County Municipalities Association, and Tartu Regional Energy Agency, took place. The focus of the meeting was on the opportunities of the circular economy and its role in achieving Tartu’s climate goals. The event also marked the initiation of drafting Tartu’s circular economy roadmap, a significant addition to the city’s climate and energy plan.

Various representatives from different sectors came together to discuss the future objectives of the circular economy and lay the foundation for defining sector-specific goals. This collaborative effort aims to contribute to Tartu’s sustainable development and align with its commitment to environmental responsibility. The Living Lab meetings serve as a platform for diverse perspectives, fostering innovation and collective strategies to address current challenges and work towards a more sustainable future for Tartu.

By the beginning of the new decade, the aim is to make Tartu County a leader in the circular economy in Southern Estonia and a valuable partner for other circular economy regions in Estonia and abroad. In contrast to the prevailing economic model centred around constant production, short product lifecycles, and single-use consumption, the circular economy promotes the prolonged use of materials and subsequent recycling or reuse. This approach aims to continually reintroduce previously produced items, reducing waste and pollution.

Tartu Deputy Mayor Raimond Tamm emphasized the significance of advancing the circular economy for Tartu, addressing both environmental concerns and fostering green innovation and entrepreneurship. Tamm stated, “We must collaboratively establish a unified system with municipalities and businesses, starting from production and concluding with reuse. This entails changes in consumer habits, company production processes, and waste management practices but ultimately provides entrepreneurs with an excellent opportunity to develop their production and enhance competitiveness.”

The circular economy roadmap, uniting Tartu County municipalities, seeks to reduce waste generation and increase recycling in the region. Key focus areas encompass collaborative initiatives, renewable energy, sustainable food systems, agriculture and land use, industry, and services. This comprehensive approach not only fosters the emergence of new business models and enterprises in the region but also plays a pivotal role in minimizing the ecological footprint of production and consumption. Importantly, the roadmap aligns with and enhances Tartu’s energy and climate plan, reinforcing its commitment to sustainable practices and shaping a resilient and environmentally responsible future for the community.

The creation of the roadmap is supported by the European Union through the projects 2ISECAP, CERITA, and TREASoURcE, as well as the EUKI project CURE+. These initiatives play a vital role in providing resources and expertise to advance the development of the circular economy in the region, underscoring the collaborative efforts to achieve sustainable and innovative practices.

Comments are closed.