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Jyväskylä: A city of sustainable well-being for all residents

The City of Jyväskylä wants to be a city of sustainable well-being and the best place to live by 2040. Responsible and sustainable choices are the focus of the city’s procurement. The city and Lindström have been sustainability partners for over 20 years. The secret to long partnership is genuine cooperation. 

The City of Jyväskylä wants to be carbon neutral by 2030 and free from emission, waste and over-consumption by 2040. The partnership between the city and Lindström has lasted for over 20 years and the shared sustainability journey continues. “Whenever we have started exploring how to act more sustainably and better, the people at Lindström have always been enthusiastic to come along. Together, we are promoting circular economy thinking with a genuine commitment. Our cooperation is power,” notes Mervi Saukko, Environmental Specialist at the City of Jyväskylä. 

“Our partnership is highly interactive. It has allowed us both to move forward over the years. Our communication has always been open. We know what we can expect from Lindström and what the possibilities are in our cooperation. When asked, the people at Lindström have provided us answers about how we could, for example, reduce water consumption or the amount of waste we produce by way of their services.” 

Circular economy criteria in order 

Procurement in the City of Jyväskylä is based on public procurement legislation, City Strategy and the city’s procurement policy. One of the city’s strategic priorities is resource wisdom. “One of the objectives of the City Strategy is to make sustainable, ethical and innovative acquisitions and promote circular economy and resource-wise business operations. Procurement aims to reduce harmful social and environmental impacts and to create incentives for new solutions,” says Joona Kankainen, Procurement Specialist at the City of Jyväskylä. 

For calls for tenders, the city defines different criteria and requirements for service providers and services in order to achieve its environmental responsibility objectives. Over the years, Lindström has actively participated in open market dialogues and procurement events organised by the city. Lindström has expertise in feasible environmental and resource wisdom criteria and the requirements that service providers could be committed to during the contract period in order to promote sustainability and circular economy thinking. 

“Since we do not know how textile services that facilitate sanitation are developing, the people at Lindström have helped us ask the right questions and therefore have valuable market dialogue. We have also received ideas from Lindström for other tenders. Together, we have made a great contribution to the tendering of public procurement, for example, in terms of circular economy criteria,” explains Saukko. 

Towards a more sustainable future 

The City of Jyväskylä wants to be boldly ahead of its time, which means continuous development and improvement in sustainability matters. In the future – also considering the criteria for the call for tenders – the city will become increasingly interested in, among other things, sustainable recycling of textiles and the utilisation of recycled fibres. 

“The goal is to get back as many waste textiles as possible, for example, in the form of recycled fibre, in order to reduce the demand for virgin raw materials. We are interested in Lindström’s group-wide goal to recycle 100% of all waste textiles by 2025. It is important to recycle textiles when their life cycle comes to an end, but we both need more experience, for example, in how recycled fibre circulates in textiles. In this way, we could once again develop the market together in a more sustainable direction,” says Saukko. 

Milestones in the responsibility of the City of Jyväskylä and Lindström 

  1. Our cooperation began in the 1990s with mat and cotton towel services 
  1. Lindström’s cotton towel service was awarded with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel in 1997 
  1. With the use of cloth roll towels, the City of Jyväskylä has saved more and more paper waste every year. In 2014 the city saved 10,000 kg and in 2019 already 16,000 kg of paper waste. 
  1. In 1998, the City of Jyväskylä signed an energy efficiency agreement and started building the ISO 14001 system 
  1. In 2003, the city tendered for the first time for mat and cotton towel services. These were among the first tenders of these services, where environmental issues were taken into account. 
  1. In 2003, Lindström published its first Sustainability Report 
  1. In 2019, the City of Jyväskylä was named the circular economy municipality of the year 
  1. Towards the future: the city will promote the use of biogas and, in the future, also the use of electricity. At Lindström, we hope that in the future all our delivery trucks will run on renewable fuel. Both parties are also interested in textile recycling. 
Lindström Group