LUT University and the Marjatta and Eino Kolli Foundation are working to increase the level of value-added gained from Finnish forests. With funding from the Foundation, the partners have also established the Metsä 360 Award, which highlights an innovation, solution or action that significantly increases the added value of forests.
Amounting to EUR 30,000, the award was granted for the first time this year. The chosen winner of the award was the Sleep Outdoors Night (Nuku Yö Ulkona) campaign by Suomen Latu, challenging Finns to sleep outside for one night in August. The campaign has been run five times, and in August 2020, more than 86,000 Finns spent a night in nature.
The winner of the award was chosen by Director of Carbon-neutral Circular Economy at Sitra Mari Pantsar, principal owner and chair of energy company St1 Mika Anttonen, and businessman and visionary Peter Vesterbacka. The winner was announced in an online event on 24 November 2020.
The award panel justified its decision by stating that the campaign has merit in highlighting the importance of forests as a source of well-being and a as a factor in the promotion of functional public health.
“The Sleep Outdoors Night campaign opens up a valuable perspective on the Finnish forest. The campaign is concrete, imaginative and also promotes social equality. In it, we see significant societal and internationally scalable potential”, says Mari Pantsar.
The award panel encouraged Suomen Latu and the group implementing the campaign to engage in ambitious international expansion.
“We think that the campaign has what it takes to reach global awareness. In our view, appreciating nature and local forests and enjoying them in a sustainable way would also resonate in many other countries. The campaign could even become our global action to promote biodiversity, like Earth Hour”, Pantsar envisions.
In the online event, monetary prizes were also awarded to the best of the Metsä360 Competition aimed at upper secondary school students, secondary level forestry sector students and Finnish Scouts. The competition called for video submissions where young people highlight the forest and its potential.
The Marjatta and Eino Kolli Foundation is a significant funder of Finnish research and development. Founded in 1991, the foundation has strong roots in the forest and wood processing industry. The long lifetime work of Industry Counsellor Eino Kolli resulted in Vierumäen Teollisuus – one of Finland’s most important sawmill and wood processing companies, now known as Versowood. More information: www.kollinsaatio.fi