SAMK faces: Taija Seppälä works for carbon neutral Satakunta
Taija Seppälä graduated with a Bachelor´s degree in Energy and Environmental Engineering last December and since January 2019 she has been working on Canemure, the Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities and Regions project.
Taija is from Sastamala but moved to Pori in 2014. Taija feels that Pori is just the right size of a city: “More to do and easy access.”
How did you end up choosing the field of Energy and the Environment?
Environmental matters have always been close to my heart but never a dream job – I didn´t realize you could have a profession in the field. My mother always dragged me to birdwatching tours. I was not that interested in birds but watched all kinds of bugs instead. We have a great nature in Sastamala.
What interests you in the field?
What I do now is really interesting. How to mitigate climate change, what can be done, in what time scale, what is caused by the humans? What can an individual person do, what can be done at a national level, at EU level?
What is Canemure?
Canemure is a six-year project that started at the end of year 2018. It is coordinated by The Finnish Environment Institute SYKE and there are seven Finnish regions involved. SAMK is the regional coordinator in Satakunta. The regional cooperation group will lead the work to update the climate and energy strategy of Satakunta and create long and short-term roadmaps to meet the climate goals.
Besides the regional cooperation carried out in regions, there are several sub-projects and one of them is being implemented in Seaside Industry Park in Satakunta.
What is your role in Canemure Satakunta project?
My work has included data collection, reading and familiarization. I have listed current climate projects in Satakunta: what measures and plans there are which are related to e.g. wind and solar power.
The aim is to make a tour to the municipalities in Satakunta and meet municipal managers and mayors to discuss what the municipalities can do to reach their climate goals. In Satakunta, Pori, Rauma, Eurajoki and Harjavalta (liittynyt kesäkuussa 2019) belong to HINKU network that aims at carbon neutrality.
My work includes meeting plenty of people, which I´m happy about, I´m building my own network.
How have you been received in municipalities?
Positively. We can offer municipalities help in reaching the climate goals in the form of student projects or theses, which is a possibility that many municipalities haven´t thought of.
What is your opinion to the often repeated argument that Finland is too small a player in climate change?
It´s true, we are small. However, how can demand anything from the big ones if we don´t act ourselves? Why wouldn´t we act because we can?
Does it feel hopeless?
No, it doesn´t. It doesn´t feel either that with this project we can solve everything. When I graduated, one of my relatives asked if I´m suffering from eco-anxiety as I have been considering these matters. Well, I´m not, you shouldn´t set yourself unreasonable goals either. To start, try to remember to recycle and when shopping, think what you buy. At home in my apartment block I recycle, there are bins for five different kinds of waste. It has been made so easy, so why wouldn´t I do it? It has already become a routine.
What is your career goal?
To learn much more. When I got this job, I realized how little I knew. I want to be a credible professional who can justify matters. At the moment I´m satisfied with my job: I´m learning so much.
INFO: Canemure Satakunta
Project participants from SAMK include project manager Meri Olenius, Merja Ahonen, Riitta Dersten and Taija Seppälä.
You can follow Canemure Satakunta on Twitter @CanemureS