Forgoing paper mail from authorities would save tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions and paper, as well as millions of euros in taxpayer money
Millions of kilos of official mail in paper format is mailed back and forth between citizens and authorities in each year in Finland. However, a transition to electronic official messages would be possible with only a few clicks in the Messages service, which collects official information and can be found on the Suomi.fi website.
The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation also supports the message on the benefits of giving up paper mail.
“We challenge every Finn to explore their stack of daily paper mail: Which messages could you request be sent electronically? Finland is a country of forests - but it is a pity to cut down trees for use as unnecessary paper,” says Harri Hölttä, Chairman of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation.
More than 400,000 Finns use Suomi.fi Messages. Around 320,000 official messages are sent electronically via the service each month, without the carbon dioxide emissions or paper printouts needed for transport. During the beginning of this year, more than 100,000 Finns have given up paper mail sent by the authorities and transitioned to the use of Suomi.fi Messages.
“For example, forgoing paper mail sent by Finland’s Tax Administration alone would bring an annual reduction of approximately 1,000 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions and 1.3 million kilogrammes of paper and save some EUR 10 million in tax resources,” explains Communications Manager Nilla Hietamäki from the Tax Administration.
Suomi.fi Messages makes it possible for citizens to receive messages and notifications related to personal services from about 270 authorities. For example, the Finnish Tax Administration, Traficom, many municipalities and TE Services utilise the service.
“Although, an increasing amount of us find the use of electronic services to receive messages the preferable option in our daily lives, traditional paper is still the go-to option for official mail. However, the same benefits apply to official mail as other messages: Electronic communications are simple and fast, and they mean that services are not tied to the opening hours of the service points or telephone service,” notes the Digital and Population Data Services Agency’s Development Manager Maria Juka-Lahdenperä.
The Messages service also collects official messages in one place, which means you no longer need to search for official documents from your home’s paper archives.
“It is convenient for citizens that they can find official messages, certificates and notifications that have arrived in the service in one place. When you download the Suomi.fi mobile app, the messages will also travel with you in your phone,” says Juka-Lahdenperä.
What are Suomi.fi Messages?
- When you activate Suomi.fi Messages, you provide general consent for the authorities to send you messages electronically.
- The authorities will introduce electronic services in stages. You can find information on which authorities are already using e-services on the Suomi.fi website.
- The Digital and Population Data Services Agency is responsible for the development of the.Suomi.fi Messages service.
Activate Suomi.fi Messages!
To activate Suomi.fi Messages you will need online banking identification, a mobile certificate, or a certificate card.
Identify yourself in the service at Suomi.fi/messages, and select the electronic communication channel.
Enter the email address to which you want notifications on incoming messages to be sent.
You can also download the Suomi.fi application from Google Play or App Store.
By end of April 2020
- Suomi.fi Messages is used by 404,000 people.
- The Suomi.fi application has been downloaded by nearly 211,000 people.
- The Messages service is used by more than 268 authorities and more than 490 e-services.