Circular Economy, the Italian Model

Published on Friday, 25 November 2016

Until recently, companies that had decided to focus on circular economy (a new model based on the synergy between growth and environmental sustainability) were mostly seen as a small group of philanthropists. Today, data shows that the path taken by these companies has not only become the winning path, but the only possible way to remain competitive on the market.

To discuss the potential of circular economy and its impact in different sectors, Enea hosted the conference “Innovation and competitiveness: the Italian way to Circular Economy”, in which representatives of institutions, associations and businesses such as Enel, Costa Crociere, Intesa Sanpaolo and Barilla spoke during the event. During the conference, Enea submitted a four point action plan to promote Italy's transition to a new model of development that combines competitiveness, innovation and sustainability.

In a panel moderated by Enea’s Claudia Brunori, called “The role of large companies – successful business cases”, Enel’s Director of Innovation and Sustainability, Ernesto Ciorra, spoke about the electric company's decision to create a function devoted to these two themes – which toghether create the concept of Innovability due to their interdependence – and ongoing projects that are part of circular economy.

“Enel is successfully transforming its business model by driving an energy transition focused on digitisation, renewables and networks,” explained Ciorra. “The transformation is based on Open Power: openness and sharing with the outside world, aimed at creating shared value when facing and solving the great challenges of humanity in view of business opportunities”.

For Enel, circular economy is “the natural evolution of what has been done up to now. We can offer numerous significant examples, in different sectors and Countries. An important one is Futur-e, a programme whose objective is to transform 23 Enel power plants in Italy into new development opportunities for the territory and for the Country as a whole. Through the direct involvement of all stakeholders at a local, national and international level, we have launched public tenders and competitions to identify the most innovative and sustainable projects in order to give new life to these sites and create new opportunities for the territory, giving priority to specific solutions in view of circular economy”.

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