Helsinki Metro­politan Smart & Clean Foundation

Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation is a five-year ‘step change’ project with 29 public-private partners from the Helsinki Metropolitan cities, leading businesses, universities, research institutions, and state actors. The Foundation orchestrates impactful climate solutions for systemic urban challenges in transport, energy, construction, and the waste and water sector. Emission-reducing solutions also generate new types of business and create export references for businesses. The Foundation’s operating period is 2016–2021.

The foundation has an innovative long-term financing and governance model. It is financed by donations from its partners and the board consists of the CEOs, mayors and other senior directors from its partners.

Smart & Clean aims to create an operating model to help make a systemic change into a 1.5°C society together.


A world-class reference area

The Smart & Clean project was launched because the world needs solutions for mitigating climate change and using resources sustainably. Finland needs a world-class reference area and display window to boost the business and export of smart solutions and clean technology. To achieve these goals, the Helsinki Region is being collaboratively made into a place where business accelerates the mitigation of climate change and helps cities create a better quality of life for their residents. At the same time, new skills accumulate in the cities and they are developed together in new ways.

1.5°C solutions for cities around the world

Smart & Clean change actions have to meet five impact criteria. These actions reduce emissions, improve urban residents’ quality of life and promote more efficient use of resources. The actors come from both the public and private sector, across city and sector boundaries. The change projects create new business and internationally interesting references for businesses that have been tested in the Helsinki metropolitan area. This increases well-being and makes sustainable solutions more widespread worldwide.

Emission reductions

Change projects reduce carbon dioxide emissions and/or promote the circular economy. For example, the Renovation Leap project is making old buildings smart and energy efficient through new kinds of renovation concepts.

Quality of life

Change projects enable urban residents to make sustainable choices and improve their quality of life. For instance, microplastics are being removed from lake waters in the Stormwater Quality Management project, and the denser air quality measurement network enables more efficient air quality improvement measures.

Business potential

Change projects develop sustainable business for companies and the starting point is scaling them from pilots into successful solutions and services, both in Finland and globally.


Smart & Clean changes have to create home market references for businesses. they must therefore be of international interest.


Change projects always involve both private and public actors.

Aiming for permanent change

The goal of doing things together in a new way is a permanent operating model in which impactful climate and circular economy solutions, new innovations, sustainable growth and jobs are born in the Helsinki Region through PPPP (Public-Private-People-Partnership) collaboration between the public and private sector. There is great demand for such collaboration models around the world, because the challenges created by climate change and the global sustainability crisis can only be met through cross-border collaboration.