Inspirational speeches: Three individuals, three perspectives on sustainable business Dance Theatre Sivuun Ensemble: Human Wonders Grand reveal: The winner of Sininen pallo 2023 Networking, snacks and cocktails
When and where
November 30th 16.30–18.15 Aalto University’s Dipoli building, Kaleva Hall
Who can participate
The event is open for all and this year, we welcome especially students! The event is free of charge.
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Our planet is suffering from an ecological crisis. We have to solve it together. The Sininen Pallo (Blue Globe) award is a recognition for groundbreaking, scalable technology or scientific research that helps humankind brave the crisis.
Join us to see who these problem solvers are and what kind of fields they work in in order to create a better future for our planet.
The 100 000 euro award can be given to any Finnish organization, company, NGO, research group or private citizen regardless of the language of their work who create scalable solutions for solving the ecological crisis currently threatening us all.
How the award unfolds
The prize is awarded by the Tiina and Antti Herlin foundation, the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation and the scholarly society Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland SLS.
Nominees for the award are shortlisted by a board of experts continuously monitoring the field. In 2023 members include Minna Halme, Professor of Sustainability Management at Aalto University School of Business; Paula Salo, Professor of Psychology at University of Turku; and Katariina Helaniemi, Head of Impact at Illusian Family Office.
The prize is awarded annually and the first prize was given in 2021 to the innovators of vegetarian proteins Pulled oats and Härkis: Reetta Kivelä, Maija Itkonen, Jiang Zhong-Qing, Leena Saarinen ja Tarja Ollila.
The 2022 Sininen Pallo winners were Ali Harlin and Petri Alava, the innovators of Infinna fiber, which is made out of recycled clothing waste.
The winner of 2023 will be announced in November 2023.
Behind the award
A hundred years ago, a young engineer who loved the outdoors graduated from the Helsinki University of Technology. Three years later, two other young hopefuls from the Mechanical Engineering Department, one of whom had originally wanted to be a farmer, graduated with the same degree. The other spent all his free time at the helm of a sailboat in the Finnish Archipelago Sea.
The three young engineers each pursued a career in industry and technology, while driving a new development in their homeland typical for that time. They also shared a deep appreciation for nature.
At the time, our country faced very different challenges than it does today. But the challenges were still great. The current environmental crisis is the most difficult challenge in human history and one that the three engineers would most certainly have wanted to solve.
Today, each of their life’s work is honoured by a foundation or fund that supports environmental research and the solutions that emerge from it. Now the three foundations are joining forces to reward the builders of the sustainable future in turn.
The three future builders highlight people who are builders of hope and a more sustainable future
Photo: Novafoto / SLS, Henrik Höijer’s archive.
Henrik Höijer (1892–1984) graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Helsinki University of Technology in 1921. He carved out a career as technical director of the Labor cooperative, the Swedish equivalent of Hankkija. Höijer was a keen scout and nature enthusiast. One of the largest funds of the Svenska Litteratursällskapet is the Ingrid, Margit and Henrik Höijer Fund II, which aims, among other things, to support individuals or organisations researching environmental protection and technology.
Heikki H. Herlin (1901–1989) graduated as a Master of Science in engineering from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Helsinki University of Technology in 1924. Herlin, who had the honorary title of Vuorineuvos, made his life’s work leading the Kone Ltd. The family farm in Thorsvik, Kirkkonummi, was then and still is used for farming. The Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation is a charitable foundation that focuses its resources in 2020–2025 on solutions to the global environmental crisis, in particular the rapid reduction of emissions.
Tor Nessling (1901–1971) graduated as a Master of Science in engineering from the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Helsinki University of Technology in 1924, the same year as Heikki Herlin. Nessling, who also had the honorary title of Vuorineuvos, spent his working life in the car industry, but spent his free time with his wife Maj Nessling at the Finnish Archipelago Sea, in the woods or birdwatching. The Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation seeks systemic solutions for an ecologically sustainable future by providing support for research, possibilities for encounters and scientific knowledge for the use of society.
Winners of the Sininen pallo (Blue globe) 2023 are the founders of Kamupak, Iida Miettinen, Karri Lehtonen and Eero Heikkinen
Winners of Sininen pallo 2023: IIda Miettinen, Karri Lehtonen and Eero Heikkinen.
The Sininen pallo was awarded for the third time on 30.11.2023. The winners offer scalable solutions to overcome the environmental crisis. The award is presented by the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation, the Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation and Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland.
The 2023 Sininen pallo was awarded to the three founders of Kamupak: Iida Miettinen, Karri Lehtonen and Eero Heikkinen. The total value of the prize is €100 000 and will be shared equally between the winners. The solution developed by Kamupak’s founders reduces the need for environmentally damaging disposable takeaway food packaging and allows consumers to choose a more sustainable packaging for their takeaway. Kamupak’s solution is to provide restaurants with reusable packaging that stays in circulation through a digital deposit.
“With the Sininen pallo award, we want to highlight that consumer behaviour change has a significant role in overcoming the ecological crisis. But the responsibility cannot rest on the shoulders of individuals. That’s why we want to reward innovations that enable and facilitate large-scale behaviour change,” says Katja Bargum, Science and Executive Director of the Nessling Foundation, who chaired the prize’s working group.
Reducing single-use food packaging is important for many reasons. Food packaging waste is difficult to recycle for hygiene reasons and therefore often ends up in incineration or landfill. Disposable packaging is so widely used that even making it from renewable raw materials is not a sustainable solution in the long term, because so much raw material is needed. Long-term use of takeaway food packaging reduces the pressure to use bio-based raw materials such as wood for packaging.
The Sininen pallo jury sees that, if successfully scaled up, the winning solution could pave the way for the sustainability of the takeaway and fast food sector.
“We are overwhelmed and grateful for this significant environmental recognition, which shows us that we have spent our energy on the right thing. We hope that this recognition will also encourage other entrepreneurs to question established consumption patterns for a more sustainable and circular planet,” says one of Kamupak’s founders Iida Miettinen.
Read the long award citation below
The winners of Sininen pallo, Blå globen 2023 are boldly tackling a big problem: getting rid of environmentally damaging and disposable takeaway food packaging.
Food packaging waste is difficult to recycle for hygiene reasons. The solution that we are awarding today, allows consumers to choose more sustainable and reusable packaging for their takeaway foods.
The winners have succeeded in creating a business model, with a digital platform and innovative logistics, that works in a dispersed restaurant market. They have also calculated how much their business model reduces waste and carbon emissions compared to single-use packaging.
At the moment, disposable packaging is used in such huge quantities that making it from renewable raw materials is not a sustainable solution in the long term. Long-term use of takeaway food packaging reduces the pressure to use bio-based raw materials such as wood as packaging material.
This winning innovation shows leadership, as it already responds to a new EU regulation to reduce single-use packaging, which is only just coming into force.
Sininen pallo Blå globen
An award that celebrates the builders of hope and a more sustainable future.