Together for a healthier Baltic Sea – the Baltic Sea Project funds some of Finland’s biggest Baltic Sea actors

The Bank of Åland’s Baltic Sea Project strengthens its partnerships with Finland’s biggest Baltic Sea actors by funding their projects and activities to heal the Baltic Sea. In 2019, the total amount of funding from the Baltic Sea project reaches a record €445,000. The largest amounts go to The John Nurminen Foundation, the Baltic Sea Action Group and Emmaus Åland. (A list of all the recipients is found at the bottom.)

The application period for the Baltic Sea Project 2019 was open from early summer to the end of September. We received a total of 95 applications that all had the goal of helping the Baltic Sea.

Funding is based on the amount of deposits on the Bank of Åland’s Baltic Sea Accounts. The Bank of Åland donates to environmental protection a sum equaling up to 0.2% of all the deposits on Baltic Sea Accounts. 2019 was the fifth time the Baltic Sea Project’s funding call was held.

The decisions made by the jury of the Baltic Sea Project are meant to enable long-term cooperation with various actors.

– All the actors chosen for funding have excellent projects. We wanted to strengthen our ties with them because we need effective partnerships in order to have a real impact on the Baltic Sea. We’re very happy to be able to support so many important projects and actors, says Anne-Maria Salonius, Head of Finland Division at the Bank of Åland and Jury Chairperson of the Baltic Sea Project.

Partnerships resulting from long-running environmental work

The list of funding recipients includes several major Baltic Sea actors, such as the John Nurminen Foundation, the Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association, WWF Finland and Race for the Baltic. Keep the Archipelago Tidy gets €40,000 for their visual campaign highlighting the issue of marine litter. The John Nurminen Foundation gets €80,000 as the Bank of Åland commits to a long-term partnership as a main supporter of the foundation.

– The Bank of Åland’s Baltic Sea Project has brought incredible energy and visibility to Baltic Sea protection that simply can’t be overlooked. We need this right now, because climate change is boosting eutrophication, which is the most serious environmental problem for the Baltic Sea, making conservation more challenging in many ways. We believe that the Baltic Sea can still be saved if the Bank of Åland and the various other actors pull together, says CEO of the John Nurminen Foundation Annamari Arrakoski-Engardt, FT/PhD.

The partnership that we started last year with the Baltic Sea Action Group on the Living Baltic Sea project for the sea’s biodiversity gets €80,000 of continued funding.

– We can change things if we work together, and that’s why we want partners that share our goal of improving the state of the Baltic Sea. These partnerships are a result of the Bank of Åland’s long-standing commitment to Baltic Sea protection, says Salonius.

In over 20 years, the Bank of Åland has spent nearly €2,745,000 to support the vital environmental work done by various organizations.

– By funding all these projects and actors through our annual funding call we can transform each of our customers’ deposits into concrete actions to protect the Baltic Sea and the environment, says Salonius.

Largest amount goes to Åland

Other funding recipients this year were Emmaus Åland and ReGeneration2030.

Emmaus Åland gets €120,000 of funding split over two years, which is the single largest amount this year. The funding allows Emmaus to go ahead with their project that illustrates the water cycle and how it affects us and our environment.

– Emmaus Åland has been practicing urban agriculture for a few years now. Thanks to funding from the Bank of Åland’s Baltic Sea Project, we can now realize our dream of a water cycle park. For our society to be sustainable we need to incorporate the water cycle into the way we think and act. The water cycle park will show you that it’s not that hard to do. This is a place where everybody gets to participate and feel and see that they really are a part of the water cycle, says director Robert Jansson from Emmaus Åland.

ReGeneration2030, a movement of youth and young adults, gets €50,000 to start a foundation. The movement is working toward a more sustainable society in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In previous years, the Bank of Åland’s Baltic Sea Project has also enabled the founding and development of a number of startups. Startups remain extremely important to the bank.

– We’re watching the development of the startups that we’ve funded with great interest and excitement, and we’ll always be there to support them. Startups continue to be key recipients of Baltic Sea Project funding because it takes fresh innovation to save the Baltic Sea, Salonius explains.


Results of the funding call for the Bank of Åland’s Baltic Sea Project 2019:

Keep the Archipelago Tidy, Project ”Belly Ache from Plastic”: €40,000

John Nurminen Foundation, main supporter: €80,000

Emmaus Åland, water cycle: €120,000 (two-year funding: €60,000/year)

ReGeneration2030, starting a foundation: €50,000

Baltic Sea Action Group, the Living Baltic Sea project: €80,000

WWF Finland: €25,000

Race for the Baltic: €50,000

The Clean Beach program: €90,000 (three-year commitment 2019–2021: €30,000/year)



Anne-Maria Salonius, Head of Finland Division, Bank of Åland, tel. +358 40 733 1106