A new EU directive that entered into force in August sets new restrictions on the emissions of public transport. The CaaS NDS pilot project to be initiated in early 2020 will support municipalities in their efforts towards emission-free transport and logistics.

The Clean Vehicles Directive applies to public procurement processes, and its goal is to ensure that, in 2021, at least 38.5% of the road transport vehicles procured by the public sector are low-emission vehicles.

The public sector is responsible for complying with the directive, which sets certain challenges for municipalities. 

“The cities of the Northern Growth Zone want to operate sustainably. The new directive will add impetus to our efforts to accomplish long-term emission targets,” says Marjo Uotila, Director of Strategic Alliances for the Northern Growth Zone. 

The Northern Growth Zone is involved in financing a new project that supports the efforts of the municipalities in its network to combat climate change. The piloted CaaS NDS platform provides support in and serves as a tool of decision-making processes that can be used to set concrete targets for tendering processes.

“In practice, the CaaS NDS platform will help municipalities make more environmentally friendly decisions. With the platform, the emissions of vehicles can be reviewed more thoroughly than before in the tendering of new vehicles or school transport services with an emphasis on more ecological options, for example. An additional goal of the pilot project is to develop solutions for the purpose of monitoring the emission levels,” says Matti Lankinen, Chairman of the Board of Vediafi Oy, the developer of the pilot platform. 

Cities of the Northern Growth Zone set ambitious environmental targets

In addition to lower emission levels, the directive and the new environmental targets also open new business opportunities.

“The reform will give an advantage to subcontractors such as tax companies and public transport service providers that are able to offer an environmentally friendly alternative. More ambitious emission targets also encourage companies to acquire more low-emission vehicles,” says Lankinen. 

Different-sized municipalities have their own challenges in meeting the emission targets. Larger cities have a larger number of vehicles that need to be replaced, whereas smaller municipalities have smaller resources to do so. 

“Several cities of the Northern Growth Zone have also set ambitious targets on their own initiative. For example, Helsinki, Turku and Lahti aim to become carbon neutral by 2035, 2029 and 2025, respectively. This shows that the motivation is strong – now we need to develop solutions to meet these targets in cooperation,” says Uotila. 

“On a strategic level, there is commitment to the goals of sustainable development and clean environment, but transforming this into concrete actions requires a lot of resources. The directive provides strong incentive to accomplish this, and we gladly welcome all the help we are able to get to comply with the directive,” says Risto Peltonen, Traffic Manager at the City of Rauma. 

It is vital to support municipalities in initiating new projects in order to achieve these targets. 

“The policies regarding compliance with the directive have now been defined, and the deadline in 2021 is getting closer all the time. It is high time to pay close attention to the incentives and solutions that serve the purpose of using low-emission or emission-free vehicles,” says Lankinen. 


For further information, please contact:

Matti Lankinen
Chairman of the Board, Vediafi Oy
tel.  +358 (0)50 557 1152

Marjo Uotila
Director, Strategic Alliances, Northern Growth Zone
tel. +358 (0)40 651 4724