Finland Invites Operational SDG Commitments, Innovates on Budget Process
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Sitoumus 2050, maintained by the Commission for Sustainable Development, invites organizations, businesses and other entities in Finland to announce operational commitments that include concrete measures, changes in operating procedures and innovative trials that promote the shared goals and that can be carried out in 5 to 10 years.

The Finnish Government has also innovated on its budget proposal, with the proposed budget including justifications that connected appropriations with Finland’s priority areas and the 2030 Agenda.

31 August 2018: Finland has launched an updated web portal for its ‘Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development’ initiative, which invites organizations, companies and individuals to make operational commitments for sustainable development. During the same week, the government approved the proposed budget for 2019, which includes analysis of the connections to the priority area of a “carbon-neutral and resource-wise” Finland.

The portal titled ‘Sitoumus 2050’ (Commitment 2050) is maintained by Finland’s Commission for Sustainable Development. Organizations, businesses and other entities in Finland are encouraged to announce operational commitments that include concrete measures, changes in operating procedures and innovative trials that promote the shared goals and that can be carried out in five to ten years. Commitments are linked to eight national goals, including human well-being, environmental sustainability, health, sustainable economy and sustainable life styles, as well as to the 17 SDGs.

Finland’s Prime Minister has pledged to become personally carbon neutral by 2020.

To date, 1,013 commitments have been recorded on the English version of the site. In one example, Prime Minister Juha Sipila pledges to promote the SDGs and to become carbon neutral personally by the end of 2020.

In addition, 29 Green Deals and 46 Nutrition commitments have been recorded. Green Deals are voluntary agreements between the state and the business sector through which the parties commit to certain goals by using the agreement as a “steering instrument” instead of legislation. Nutrition commitments encourage food business operators and stakeholders to improve the nutritional quality of the Finnish diet and to encourage nutritionally responsible practices.

The Commission expects to add further features to the portal in the coming months, including a survey for individuals regarding their carbon footprint, information on actions they could take to reduce it and the option to include their person commitment in the portal. [Sitoumus2050] [SDG Knowledge Hub sources]

In an effort to identify the connections between government budgeting and sustainable development, Finland has just completed a budget cycle in which the proposed budget included justifications that connected appropriations with Finland’s priority areas and the 2030 Agenda. The analysis examined which appropriations represented specific advances towards the aims of the priority area of a carbon-neutral and resource-wise Finland.

In the budget adopted on 29 August 2018, during the final budget session of the current government term, the decision was taken to expand sustainable development budgeting in 2019. [Government press release about budgeting process][ Government press release on final budget session]

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