Cleanest Air in the World – Today and Tomorrow

Finnish Lapland is the northernmost part of the EU. The air in the region has been studied to be the cleanest in the world. The economic backbone of the region is the sustainable utilisation of natural resources and natural conditions.  How has the region been able to develop economic growth and nurture the unique and clean nature? 

With the lead of the Regional Council of Lapland, the Lapland Green Deal roadmap was developed in spring 2021 as a cornerstone in regional development and guides the implementation of EU next generation, structural and rural funding. In addition, the regional COVID-19 exit strategy emphasises the development of green and sustainable development measures, which will support restoring and further strengthening the vitality of the region.   

The conference Cleanest Air in the World – Today and Tomorrow showcases what Lapland has already accomplished and what can still be done in the future to boost economic growth and to maintain the cleanest air in the world. The conference demonstrates how regional actions supports the implementation of the EU Climate Action, and the New European Green Deal and highlights the work done at the regional ecosystem level involving regional and local authorities, policymakers, clusters, companies, educations and R&D organisations.  

The online conference includes sessions in English and Finnish. 


(Please click ”+”  to get the full programme with speakers of the respective sessions.)

The first session (in Finnish) will present how Lapland’s smart specialisation clusters ”The Arctic smartness clusters” can support the sustainable growth of companies. Lapland’s smart specialisation clusters – Arctic smartness clusters are networks of experts in the region to support the sustainable growth of companies. The event will present how the clusters originated in Lapland, the vital role of clusters in obtaining EU funding for the programming period 2021–2027, and what clusters can offer to companies. The session will highlight practical examples of business cooperation and the opportunities it brings to companies in the region. Join the session to learn the latest news from the Arctic Smartness clusters!

Moderaattori: Sisko Häikiö, lehtori, Lapin AMK

9.00–9.05 Tilaisuuden avaus – Jukka Teräs, Norrum Oy
9.05–9.15 AS-klusterit kasvun moottoreina, Kristiina Jokelainen, toimitusjohtaja, SmartNorth Oy
9.15–9.30 Arktinen älykäs maaseutuverkosto: Johannes Vallivaara, yritysasiantuntija, ProAgria ry
9.30–9.45 Arktisen matkailun ekosysteemi: Anu Harju-Myllyaho, osaamisaluepäällikkö, Lapin AMK & Satu Luiro, strategiapäällikkö (sij.), Lapin liitto
9.45–10.00 Arktinen turvallisuus: Eija Raasakka, projektipäällikkö, Lapin AMK
10.00–10.05 Tauko
10.05–10.20 Arktiset kehittämisympäristöt: Raimo Pyyny, kehittämispäällikkö, Lapin AMK
10.20–10.35 Arktinen muotoilu: Tomi Knuutila, lehtori, Lapin yliopisto
10.35–10.50 Arktinen teollisuus ja kiertotalous: Tuomas Pussila, ohjelmapäällikkö, Kemin Digipolis Oy
10.50–11.00 Kysymykset ja session päätös

The second session (in English) will highlight the efforts of the universities and research organisations in the region in boosting sustainable development. How does cutting-edge research and development in Lapland contribute to regional, national and international sustainability? How do digital teaching solutions boost sustainable development? Why should Lapland be chosen as a partner when seeking knowledge and expertise on sustainable development and the green transition?

Moderator: Hannu Panttila, Geologist, Geological Survey of Finland (GTK)

11.30–11.35 Opening words – Jukka Teräs, Norrum Oy
11.35–11.40 Introduction – Hannu Panttila, Geologist, Geological Survey of Finland (GTK)
11.40–12.00 SCIENCE

Research helping in solving land-use conflicts – Dr Pasi Rautio, Senior Scientist, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Mineral exploration with plant chemistry – Dr Maarit Middleton, Associate Research Professor, Geological Survey of Finland (GTK)

12.00–12.20 TECHNOLOGY

Smartness from nature – green textile finishing agents – Dr Susan Kunnas, Research Scientist and Dr Risto Korpinen, Senior Scientist, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Sustainable wood mobility – Rosewood4.0 – Dr Jussi Soppela, Principal Lecturer, Lapland University of Applied Sciences

12.20–12.30 EDUCATION

Regional sustainability and digital solutions degree programmes – Kenneth Karlsson, Senior Lecturer, Lapland University of Applied Sciences

12.30–12.35 Break

Knowledge transfer and networking supported by need-based RDI services – Harri Malinen, Senior Expert, Lapland University Consortium

How does the Arctic Development Environments Cluster work – Raimo Pyyny, Cluster Manager, Lapland University of Applied Sciences

Bridging universities and research institutions to business (validation) – Mirva Juntti, Head of Business, Lapland University of Applied Sciences

13.05–13.30 Panel discussion

The third session (in English) sets the green deal work in Lapland into an EU and international context. The session highlights the work towards greener Lapland from the EU and international viewpoint. Moreover, the session discusses green initiatives in Lapland as an instrument for regional branding. The session introduces the excellent work done by and in the municipalities in Lapland and provides examples of how essential international cooperation is in reaching the goals.

14.00–14.30 Branding Green Lapland, Moderator Jukka Teräs, Norrum Oy

Opening words

Welcome video – Santa Claus

How to brand Green Lapland? Panel discussion, panelists:

Regional perspective, Mika Riipi, County Governor, Regional Council of Lapland

European perspective, Kari Aalto, Director, East and North Finland EU Office

Tourism perspective, Satu Luiro, Regional Council of Lapland

14.30–14.35 Greetings from the cleanest municipality of Europe
14.35–15.10 Wise emissions in sustainable production

Certificates in increasing the sustainability of tourism, Seija Tuulentie, Senior Researcher, Natural Resources Institute Finland

Wise emissions in the industrial circular economy, Tuomas Pussila, Leader of Circular Economy Centre, Digipolis-Kemi Technology Park

Nordic Circular Hotspot accelerating Circular Economy through partnerships, Elin Bergman, Co-founder & Managing Partner Nordic Circular Hotspot

15.10–15.15 Grude international online workshops – Greennovation Camp concept video
15.15–16.00 Lapland in EU and international context

EU perspective of regional work and EU Green Deal / importance of Local green deal work? – Markku Markkula, CoR rapporteur on Climate Adaptation, Covenant of Mayors Climate Ambassador for Finnish Cities and Regions

Arctic Smart Specialisation – Alessandro Rainoldi, Head of the Territorial Development Unit (B3), Joint Research Centre, Spain

Baltic Sea Region cooperation – opportunities for Lapland – Anders Bergström, EUSBSR Policy Area Coordinator PA Education, Science and Social affairs, Norden Association

Mayors of Lapland greetings video

Session conclusion – moderator

Closing words – Road to future – Mika Riipi, County Governor, Regional Council of Lapland

Please click here to download the programme as a PDF file

Event Recordings




The conference was organised by the Regional Council of Lapland in cooperation with the University of Lapland and the Lapland University of Applied Sciences. The seminar is an official EU Green Week 2021 side event. 

The conference was streamed live from Lapland – Above Ordinary!

More information: or 


The event is jointly organised by the Smart and International Lapland, ASG, ASR and GRUDE projects.

EU Green Week Partner Event

The event is an official partner event of the EU Green Week. More information here.

EU Green Week

EU Green Week is Europe’s biggest annual conference on environment policy, bringing together participants from government, industry, non-governmental organisations, academia and the media for a unique exchange of ideas and best practices. For more information:

For more information

Eeva Erkinjuntti
Regional Council of Lapland
+358 40 484 8700