The signature of the Alliance for the Circular Economy Manifesto in November 2017 created a network of large Italian companies, including us, ready to adopt circularity as a strategic key for competitiveness and environmental sustainability. Three years later, the Alliance has not only extended participation to include more companies and new fields, but has also restated its mission for the future with a new position paper, also reckoning with the effects of the Covid-19 emergency.
Echoing what the climate crisis had foreshadowed, the health crisis has demonstrated how social, economic and natural systems are strongly interconnected. This confirms that a circular economic model is not simply a required choice but also an opportunity to relaunch the country’s competitive edge.
This is the starting point for the renewed mission of the Alliance, whose goal is to drive a comprehensive evolution of Italy’s economy from a circular perspective, in a way that promotes the country’s points of excellence by investing in innovation, encouraging the sharing of experiences and good practice, and promoting constant dialogue to create a new development model. In this sense, the circular economy is a new vision for the future.
The position paper outlines five main areas of action:
- Definition of effective governance for the circular economy;
- Simplification of the legislative framework;
- Support for sustainable innovation;
- Definition of measurement systems and KPIs;
- Communication and training.
The document also measures the potential economic, social and environmental benefits deriving from the circular approach for the European Union between now and 2030: a 7% increase in investment; a 10% reduction in the cost of raw materials; an additional 700,000 new jobs; and a 17% drop in CO2 emissions.
The Alliance’s ability to offer a new perspective to the Italian economy is further strengthened by the profile of the companies involved, which are all significant organisations in the country’s production system, with a combined revenue of 126 billion euros, 235,000 employees and 94,000 suppliers from 9 different value chains.
Indeed, there are 17 enterprises at our side: A2A, Aquafil, Bvlgari, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Cetena (Fincantieri Group), CIRFOOD, Costa Crociere, ERG, FaterSMART, Hera Group, Intesa Sanpaolo, NextChem (Maire Tecnimont Group), Novamont, Salvatore Ferragamo, TH-Resorts, Touring Club Italiano and Ferrovie dello Stato.
These companies are leaders in various sectors – consumer goods, circular bio-economy, chemicals and engineering, energy and utilities, finance, fashion and luxury, shipbuilding, hospitality, tourism – and they are transforming their business models, developing new technologies, innovating processes and products, and engaging with their suppliers and consumers. In doing so they are proving, through action, that a circular future for Italy’s economy is possible, and it would benefiteveryone.