More than 60 Estonian entrepreneurs signed a joint statement issued Thursday encouraging the Estonian government, political parties and the media to make the green transition a priority in the coming years, stressing that there is no contradiction between the green transition and development.
The green transition is as big a social change as the transition to a market economy was in the 90s, Eva Truuverk, founder and director of Estonian multidisciplinary cooperation platform Green Tiger (Rohetiiger), said in a press release.
"During such major changes, everyone in society needs to understand why these processes are taking place and agree on the direction of movement," Truuverk said.
"The current decade must be seen as a window of extraordinary opportunities and challenges," she continued. "Leaders with a vision have understood this and are already acting today. The best time to talk about these topics and reflect the expectations of entrepreneurs is during the current election debates."
The next Riigikogu elections, in which all of the Estonian parliament's 101 seats are up for election, will be held on March 5, 2023.
According to the entrepreneurs to sign the joint statement, recent crises have made several politicians and officials move in the right direction and make the necessary decisions, such as in the field of energy, but similar visions, long-term planning and leadership are needed in all other areas as well.
Priit Koit, chairman of the board at Estonian energy group and district heating provider Utilitas, cited as a good example of an ambitious goal the target Estonia has set of producing at least as much renewable electricity as it consumes in a year by the year 2030.
"Similar goals and concrete steps to reach them are also needed in all other areas," he stressed.
A long-term plan is likewise essential in order to remain competitive on the international market, said Kai Realo, board chair at waste management company Ragn-Sells.
"As entrepreneurs, we see a unique opportunity to improve our positions during this period of transformation," Realo said. "Customers in our main export markets increasingly expect solutions with a low carbon footprint that support the circular economy, and this creates a unique opportunity to improve the competitiveness and value creation of the Estonian economy."
Read Thursday's statement in full below.
Green transition requires will, social contract
There is a problem in the Estonian information space. The green transition, which is the most important topic of the next decade and on which the future of every person in Estonia depends, still causes a lot of confusion. Many right steps in the right direction have already been taken, but so far there is no common understanding and social contract regarding how to move forward at a faster pace.
The fact remains, however, that climate change, loss of biodiversity and scarcity of resources affect us all, regardless of gender, age, job or income. These issues do not leave any person, field of activity or sector unaffected.
The signatory entrepreneurs have not waited for a national mandate to make their operations sustainable. It has been a natural way to adapt to global changes. We are committed to the sustainable development of our companies and organizations every day; we have invested in it and we are ready to invest in the future. We are ready to offer society solutions.
The green transition must likewise become a priority for the next government, Riigikogu, all government institutions and political parties. The green transition must be emphasized as a topic of national importance which receives all the attention and necessary funding. It must become something to which every Estonian is committed.
For such a major social change, we need a comprehensive vision, a long-term plan, bold and meaningful leadership and real problem solving. We experienced an equally large and all-encompassing change when we transitioned to a free market economy in the early 90s. The entire nation supported a similar nationwide goal when we joined NATO and the EU.
It all starts with a will. And we have enough will. We have enough will. A recent survey by the Government Office confirmed that the majority of Estonian already currently support the implementation of the green transition. In light of this, we also call on the media to amplify the voices of those who are seeking and offering solutions.
As entrepreneurs, we believe that the green transition is a great opportunity for the Estonian economy and people as well as a matter of the country's international competitiveness. We are certain that quickly launched and fairly and thoughtfully managed action will increase the well-being of Estonia's people, not the other way around. There is no contradiction between the green transition and development.
We are all responsible for the good fortune, development and nature of one country — Estonia. We must do this together. A clean, healthy and life-sustaining environment is a priority for all of us.
We as entrepreneurs confirm that we are moving forward with the green transition and invite others to join us.
1. Eva Truuverk, director, Rohetiiger
2. Eva Pedjak, board member, CRONIMET Nordic OÜ
3. Riivo Tuvike, board chair, AS Tallinna Lennujaam
4. Tiit Atso, board chair, AS Harju Elekter
5. Kristjan Peäske, director, Lee Restoran OÜ
6. Ülo Kivine, board chair, Nordic Milk OÜ
7. Markus Hääl, CEO, Hundipea OÜ
8. Marek Pohla, board chair, Kaamos Group OÜ
9. Kai Realo, board chair, Ragn-Sells AS
10. Valdo Kalm, board chair, AS Tallinna Sadam
11. Karin Madisson, board member, Advokaadibüroo Sorainen AS
12. Tauno Trink, board member and CEO, Eesti Metsameister OÜ
13. Ryan Jenkins, board member, OÜ DenEesti
14. Janno Karu, CEO, Scania Eesti AS
15. Argo Alaniit, CEO, GreenDice AS
16. Tiina Aas, board member, Productinfo24.com OÜ
17. Alle Aron, board member, Scandium Kinnisvara
18. Martin Lill, board member, Puhastusimport OÜ
19. Raul Puusepp, board member, Tallinna Kaubamaja Grupp AS
20. Holger Haljand, board chairman, Telia Eesti
21. Henrik Hal, board member, H2Electro OÜ
22. Peeter Tava, board member, OÜ Vegestar
23. Rael Tavaste, board member, Nordic Spedition OÜ
24. Sivar Irval, council chair, AS Dimedium
25. Priit Haldma, CEO, AS Estanc
26. Marek Ratnik, board member and CEO, ERGO Insurance SE
27. Martti Kork, CEO, Barrus AS
28. Aivo Adamson, board chair, AS Alexela
29. Marti Hääl, board member, Alexela Varahalduse AS
30. Dennis Antamo, board chair, Neste Eesti AS
31. Margo Dengo, board chair, Maru Ehitus AS
32. Martin Villig, cofounder, Bolt Technology OÜ
33. Sirli Sipp Kulli, board member, BiotaTec OÜ
34. Madis Toomsalu, board chair, AS LHV Group
35. Olavi Lepp, board chair, Swedbank AS
36. Kuido Kartau, board member, Saare Wind Energy OÜ
37. Mikk Saar, board member, Energiapartner OÜ
38. Priit Lepasepp, board chair, Sunly AS
39. Martin Rauam, board member, Jolos OÜ
40. Margus Muld, board member, Agrone OÜ
41. Andres Sõnajalg, board chair, Eleon AS
42. Priit Kongo, CEO, Net Group OÜ
43. Hiljar Kõiv, branch director, AAS "BTA Baltic Insurance Company" Estonian branch
44. Tarmo Tamm, board member, Peetri Puit OÜ/Arcwood
45. Hando Sutter, board chair, Eesti Energia AS
46. Peeter Pihel, board member, Fotografiska Tallinn
47. Priit Koit, board chair, Utilitas OÜ
48. Andreas Vesipak, board member, Estonian Business School
49. Virve Jõgeva, board chair, Glamox AS
50. Antti Toppi, board member, Filter AS
51. Toomas Truuverk, board member, Äripäev AS
52. Marti Arak, board member, DeltaE Insenerid OÜ
53. Erik Rattasepp, board member, Makeitneutral OÜ
54. Aleksandr Timofejev, board chair, AS Tallinna Vesi
55. Ursel Velve, board member, Mainor Ülemiste AS
56. Allan Parik, board member, SEB Pank
57. Tomas Tibbing, board member, Reval Auto Esindused
58. Peeter Tiitson, board member, Al Mare Auto OÜ
59. Palle Nordahl, board member, Luminor
60. Simmo Soomets, board member, Thermory AS
61. Tiia Ilves, board member and CEO, Reitan Convenience Estonia AS
62. Tarmo Hõbe, board member, Rally Estonia
63. Aivar Berzin, director, Vestman Energia AS
64. Jaan Tähiste, board member, Foxway OÜ
65. Heikko Mäe, board member, Coop Pank AS
66. Maris Ojamuru, cofounder and board member, Sustinere OÜ
Editor: Aili Vahtla