Our Journey in Circular Economy


The great environmental and social challenges of our time require us to rethink production and consumption models. The answer is the circular economy: a concrete solution that brings together sustainability and competitiveness through technological and thought innovation.

Beginning in the early 2000s, the concept of Circular Economy appeared on the international scene: a fundamental step in the transition to a sustainable economic model that is not only environmentally sustainable, but also reduces dependence on raw materials by focusing on greater efficiency in the use of natural resources.

Our Group has been working in this direction since 2015, when we embarked on the path towards decarbonization and began the journey by placing circularity at the center of our business strategy, applied throughout the value chain.

The adoption of a circular and sustainable model is the common thread that guides all of our activities. In order to reach the ambitious goal of energy transition, it is fundamental from the earliest design stages, integrate technology development within a broader Circular Economy strategy, not to leave out any phase: from the selection of raw materials used, to operation, reuse, up to the final recycling of the product and end-of-life management.

The strength of this vision lies in its systematic nature: it embraces the entire economic model and defines, in a concrete and measurable way, a goal to strive for and clear incentives on which to act.

“The adoption of a circular business model is crucial for sustainable development as it decouples economic activities from resource consumption. The circular economy is at the heart of our strategy: innovation, technological and otherwise, is the key to realising it competitively.”

– Luca Meini, Head of Sustainability Initiatives and Circular Economy

The 5 pillars

The circular economy is based on five pillars that define the areas and methods of its application.

Strategies, projects and outcomes in a document that provides our view of this business model and the key role utility providers can play in this transition.



Our journey towards a circular business model, capable of generating competitiveness and fostering sustainable, inclusive and lasting growth, divided into four cornerstones. Learn about all of them.

New business models

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Combining environmental sustainability, innovation and competitiveness does not mean changing just one part, but rather rethinking the entire process. Looking at the whole helps to radically change our approach by thinking about scalable solutions that significantly reduce resource consumption, ensuring the competitiveness of the entire system.


Raw Materials

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The goal of decarbonisation targets requires a transformation of the energy system, focusing on renewables and electrification of consumption to maximise the use of renewable energy in every end-use application. To support this new energy paradigm, the adoption of energy storage technologies, as well as the development of smart grids, is crucial. This evolution also requires, as an indirect consequence, a strong growth of enabling technologies, for instance robotics and digitalization.

This dynamic results in an increasing need for raw materials. Enel's transition to a new energy paradigm therefore requires the procurement of technologies that have to be analysed as a whole, taking into account environmental, social, commodity and, where necessary, geopolitical factors.


sustainable input

Circular procurement

sustainable input

Thermal Energy Storage System (TES)


Cities and territories

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Cities are responsible for 70% of global CO2 emissions and more than 60% of overall resource use and they produce 50% of the world’s waste. Unfortunately, these numbers are set to grow, given city population estimates. Which is why our efforts are focused on territories: renewable energy, public and private electrification and flexible work models. Every year since 2018, the Group has published a document dedicated to the analysis of circularity in urban settings. The focus of the last edition of the study was the contribution of Circular Cities to decarbonization, with evidence of positive impacts not only on direct but also indirect emissions.



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The key enabling factors are metrics and collaboration throughout the value chain and across sectors.

Metrics have been a focus of the Group from the beginning, leading it to play an almost pioneering role on an international level in the study of metrics tied to circularity. 

The CirculAbility Model© is our model for measuring circularity, from which more specific models were then developed in the different areas of the Group.

In 2020, for the first time, we publicly announced a KPI tied to electricity production activities, which measures the consumption of raw materials throughout a production plant’s lifetime in relation to the energy it generates. With regard to this KPI, we have committed to significantly reducing resource consumption by 2030 with the goal of improving circularity by 92% compared to 2015.


Discover more about our CirculAbility Model©

New form of collaboration


A business model based on circularity requires maximum collaboration among all stakeholders: which is why we believe it is fundamental to be open to dialoguing with those who share this vision, involving the supply chains and promoting joint initiatives to safeguard natural resources and increase Italy’s competitiveness.


In 2017, we launched the Circular Economy Alliance and signed a manifesto with Made in Italy companies that are leaders in various industries. We developed a position paper with them to accelerate the transition to a sustainable growth model.

Alliance for the Circular Economy


We network and collaborate with all those committed to fostering the application of this model in economic, social and environmental spheres, both nationally and internationally. Find out more.

ICESP platform
CE 100 Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Circular Excellence

From the A of Agriculture to the Z of Zero Waste: these are the hundred Italian stories of circular economy collected in the latest report produced together with the Symbola Foundation to give voice to the most innovative Italy. A journey to discover the circularity of Made in Italy companies.

100 Italian circular economy stories

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