Kick-off meeting of Train2Sustain

Train2Sustain developing capacity to teach sustainability in VET


Welcome on board to our freshly started project! We are all very excited to start this project, getting to know each other and to learn about sustainability and circular economy combined with Lean principles. We have a great project group that together will collect and share knowledge from our own countries, regions, schools and from different industries. This we will pass on to our co-workers and later also to the students by the innovative training program that we will create during the project.

The Kick-off meeting was supposed to be a 3 day long face-to-face meeting in Vaasa, Finland were we in addition to kicking off the project were supposed to learn about circular economy, visiting local organisations and try out Finnish food using the food rescue app saving restaurant food from being thrown away. At planning stage we had no idea that of that Covid would set stop for this. Instead the kick-off became an online management meeting in December and a two day webinar in January, with too few breaks.

However, we were 16 persons from four countries and 5 VET schools representing disciplines such as hospitality, social and health care, language studies, STEM projects, business studies and ICT, digital pedagogics, environmental engineering, various technical fields such as construction, automotive and electrical engineering and all with a lot of international experience.

Topics that were covered during the kick-off meeting were:


  • The project in a nutshell
  • Partners and associated partners
  • Timetables
  • Transnational meetings and Learning-training-teaching events (that we really hope that we will be able realise face to face!)
  • Quality
  • Risks

During the first day we also took part of presentation on circular economy, circular economy in Finland and in Vaasa by Göran Östberg, project manager, at Vaasa regional development office that is an associated partner in the project.

Circular economy was unknown to many in the project group. The European parliament has defined it as:

“The circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended.” – Euparl

The European Parliament has made a new Circular Economy Action Plan for a Cleaner and More Competitive Europe

We learned what circular economy is and what it is not! Göran’s presentation was very much focused on what circular economy means to companies. This we coming from VET welcomed.

In the future companies will have to develop a sustainable approach in order to be successful “Survive or die”

We also learned that circular economy is not always the same as sustainability. We must be careful not to create circular material flows that are even more toxic and a bigger problem for the environment than it would be in a linear way.

From Göran Österbergs presentation on the CERM- Circular Economy Road Map project


Presentation of all the partner organisations and how they are working with sustainability, Circular economy and Lean in their school and in their operating environment

  • Visual image and webpage
  • Dissemination
  • The use of social media
  • Some managerial and financial issues
  • The use of office 365 platform
  • Next meetings and next steps for everyone to work on

The presentations of the partner schools and their work with sustainability, circular economy and Lean was impressive. Between the five of us, we hold a vast amount of knowledge on these subjects and the areas that we operate in have a lot of interesting solutions, projects and companies to offer us. We are out to explore and learn more during this project in order to bring the knowledge into VET.

Roadmap to a sustainable future in Omnia Finland
Energy Education path in Vaasa, Finland from early childhood education to University level, so also in Vamia.
Lean training projects for students,  consultancy and continuous training
bit Schulungscenter in Austria working on various national and international projects on sustainability

Since we cannot visit each other during this spring, we will instead arrange a series of webinars where we get to know different aspects of sustainability, circular economy and Lean. This will help us in structuring the content of training course that we will produce. The next webinar will be on various sustainability topics in EUC Syd and their operating environment.

Katarina Sandbacka, project leader.