The circular economy comes to the G7

Published on Friday, 31 March 2017

Sustainability, the circular economy and energy efficiency at the top of the agenda of the G7.

Less than two months from the G7 in Taormina, Confindustria has organised an international business summit to set the priorities of Italian companies in view of the May event.

The B7 did not disappoint expectations, with Enel playing a leading role. The event was also attended by leading figures of the Italian government, including Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and ministers Pier Carlo Padoan (Economy), Angelino Alfano (Foreign Affairs), Carlo Calenda (Economic Development) and Gian Luca Galletti (Environment).

The final statement declared that innovation, sustainability and energy efficiency—fields in which Enel is engaged in front line—must be put at the top of the G7 agenda.

The document reads, “For industry, the efficient use of resources means a more sustainable management of renewable energy, materials and soil.” “Industry can seize the opportunities, tackle the risks and challenges related to the exploitation of resources and provide effective solutions by applying the principle of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’. We therefore call on the G7 countries to establish the regulatory and investment frameworks needed for this purpose. We should also give priority to the following actions in the field of policies.”

In another passage, it also speaks of "Open Innovation" and "Circular Economy.”
“Innovation makes sustainability possible and both are drivers that will determine the future models of industrial development by driving the transition toward an economy that is more circular, more efficient in the use of resources and more digitalised, innovative and with lower emissions. In this regard, the challenge for companies is to reconcile economic growth and environmental sustainability while maintaining employment and developing new skills.”

Sustainability and energy efficiency were also the key message of Simone Mori, Head of Public Affairs Europe of Enel, at the B7 workshop on Resource Efficiency. “To rise to the challenge of renewable energy and energy efficiency, we need to change the mentality of companies: decarbonisation and sustainability are a great opportunity,” explained Mori who repeated the word “revolution” several times: “Customers must be active players in this revolution. This revolution is already underway: in Africa, solar energy is more affordable than energy from traditional sources.”

At the workshop, Italian Environment Minister Galletti confirmed that the circular economy will be the protagonist also at the G7 Environment Ministers meeting that will be held in Bologna, on June 10 and 11, where a 5-year roadmap on energy efficiency will be launched. “Companies today are ahead of governments in some cases: they have been faster in understanding that the circular economy is the future and they are heading in that direction on their own. If we act together, both the business and political world, we will achieve great results.”

Together with the president of Enel, Patrizia Grieco, the summit was attended by the chairpersons and CEOs of other major multinational companies, including L'Oreal France (Loïc Armand), Wacker Chemie (Rudolf Staudigl), Schaeffler (Klaus Rosenfeld), Pfizer (Albert Bourla), Hitachi (Hiroaki Nakanishi), Mitsubishi (Shunichi Miyanaga), and NuScale (John Hopkins).

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