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Sustainable Consumption Centre


Detailed description of the Good Practice

The idea of creating Patina - the sustainable consumption centre - orginated when Lahti Region Educational Consortium, The Health and Environmental Protection Cen-tre of the City of Lahti and Päijät-Häme Waste Disposal Ltd joined their forces to create a functional centre that serves common needs and goals.


  • sustainable consumption
  • awareness rising

Objectives of the Good Practice

The project was carried out during 1.8.1999 – 30.6.2001 by Lahti Region Educational Consortium. The aims of the project were the following:
1) to create a businesslike and self-financed, new kind of sales and service centre for recycled products that would at the same time serve as an efficient, modern know-how utilizing education and information centre
2) to establish recycling enterprises and network them with the help of sustainable consuming
3) to employ those people who were unemployed (or at risk of getting unemployed), who are interested in environmental questions. The ultimate aim of this was to help long-term unemployed persons to re-locate in working life

Päijät-Patina is continuing the project activities implemented during the ESF project

Participants of the Good Practice

The goals of Patina are carried out by several continuing projects. The Lahti Region Educational Consortium is responsible for Päijät-Patina.
The Health Care and Envi-ronmental Centre of the City of Lahti has three different projects in Patina.
Päijät-Häme Waste Disposal ltd is in charge of the waste counselling. In addition to this three entreprises has started in Patina.
The sustainable consumption centre of Lahti is a joint project of several parties, e.g. Lahti Region Educational Consortium, which is also responsible for the building, City of Lahti and Päijät-Häme Waste Disposal Ltd., Employment Office of Lahti, Em-ployment and Economic Development Centre for Häme and Neopoli Ltd .

Target group of the Good Practice

the citizens of Lahti

Funding of the Good Practice

partly financed by European Social fund and the ERDF

More Details of the Good Practice

The planning process of Patina required co-operation and participation of several sectors to increase environmental responsibility and to promote sustainable development and social and socioeconomic responsibility. These have been the central starting-points in the planning of Patina.
Patina is a unic, functionally versatile sustainable consumption centre promoting sus-tainable development locally. Patina is located in the centre of Lahti.
The main task for Patina is to promote participation among citizens in the actions achieving sustainable development. Another important task for Patina is to strengthen co-operation between various actors in implementing the Rio process. A special challenge for personnel in Patina is to implement social sustainable development by encouraging the persons that have been unemployed for a long time to adjust themselves to the tasks in recycling activities. In addition to this special attention is paid on supporting the persons who have been drawn aside from the working life and who want to re-locate in working and other activities in our society.
Patina is an ideal place to visit: there you can get environmental and waste counselling and information and there is a recycling centre, several workshops, e.g. shoe repair workshop and bicycle repair workshop, and cafeteria which serves organically pro-duced goods. Patina was established 8.12.1999.


Päijät-Patina operates on five (5) different areas of responsibilities:
1. Recycling Patina accepts without compensation clothes, household goods and appliances, electric equipment, furniture and other goods from homes, offices and compa-nies. They also accept raw materials from factories, production units etc.The goods are inspected, repaired and upholstered if possible and put up for sale in Patina´s retail shop.
2. Patina Boom produces and designs recycled products in their ornament shop, sewing shop and decoration shop.
Construction Patina repairs furniture and builds waste booths and other small wooden tool sheds etc.
3. Construction Patina is located in Kujala – outside the town where it has warehouse and working facilities.
4. Education services and supporting services are offered for the enterprices and shops operating in Patina

There are three separate enterprises which have established within Patina. The enterpises are given common marketing, sales promotion, product development ja management services by Patina organisation. An enterprise consultant is also working in Patina. He takes care of networking and developing the enterpises and supports new innovations and ideas in order to introduce market-oriented products and services to meet the local needs and specific characters of the city of Lahti.
In addition to repairing shoes and other leather products the shoemaker is planning new production, Pyörä-Erkki maintains and repairs bicycles and also rents and sells them. The cafeteria Vihreä Tupa (Green Cottage) offers lunch, pastries and other or-ganically produced products.
It is people who have the leading role in Patina: customers, suppliers, employees, and guests and other visitors. During Patina´s existence about 70 000 visitors were registered. Patina has awoken both national and international interest, the most distant visitors being from India, Japan and Korea.


Lahti Region Educational consortium provides and develops polytechnic and vocational education, apprenticeship training as well as employment and rehabilitation of the disabled. An adult education program of eight months for unemployed: “sorting, reusing and recycling” was organized and carried out in Patina. During and after the program 12 students out of 15 were periodically employed in Patina. One of the adult students was employed by the local energy company and two established their own business.

Patina has employed periodically 145 persons during the time 1.8.1999 – 30.6.2001. Most of the employed had been unemployed for over a year or were at the risk of get-ting unemployd. The amount of employed for the moment is 68 persons.
The results of several employment periods, working practises for persons in Patina have led to the conclusion that their self control has improved. Also the readiness to face and solve problems has remarkably improved .

The sales and service centre for recycled products and products is working on the ba-sis of efectiveness and enterpreneurship. The three enterpreneurs established and op-erating on the recycling and sustainable development basis is an excellent comparison where sustainability equals profitability and well being.

Patina is networking with several enterprises and organisations in regional, national and international level. These connections add value to Patina´s activities.

The expertise of the organisations behind the actors are versatively and innovatively advantaged in planning and serving the customers. The workers of the Patina have got feedback from the authorities of the city telling that the environment counselling in Patina has remarkably helped their work in counselling the citizens.

The demand of councelling services has increased remarkably during the implementa-tion of Patina. Special attention is paid on individual customer service and to the products that are put on sale.

Cost-effectiveness is gained by common marketing and by focusing the activities to one place in the centre of the city. This means that councelling, customer service, education, sales and repairing services reach their target groups easily.

The awareness in environment aspects have been increased by a solid information booth in Patina and by organising different kinds of happenings and shows. 139 shows, lectures, activities and other happenings gathered about 1800 participants in Patina during the years 2000 and 2001. In addition to this there has been six different exhibitions concerning the sustainable development.

A new model for combining the expertise of two organisations has also been used in an education program for the kids. The methods of drama pedagogic was used to in-crease the awareness of environment.

• Patina is a versatile and living example of applying the Rio process locally.
• Social and environmental dimension is combined in Patina in a quite new way.
• Patina is a topical and meaningful entity in Lahti and in whole Finland and it has drawn both national and international attention.
• A model that is cost-effective can be recommended to most municipalities.

Available files

Contact details

Kari Porra
Director of the Environment
City of Lahti
Niemenkatu 73
15140 Lahti
Tel +358 8165 121
Fax +358 3 8165 100
email: kari.porra@lahti.fi

Irma Tolonen
planning officer
Sustainable Consumption Centre
Vesijärvenkatu 27
15140 Lahti
Tel: +358 3 814 3228
Fax: +358 3 828 3731

Data sources and references

UBC Environmental Award 2001