A Journey into the Enel Group’s Circular Economy

The circular economy combines competitiveness with social and environmental sustainability. Enel considers this approach to be strategic for its business: in the document entitled “A Journey into Enel Group Circular Economy”, we outline the projects that we’ve implemented to tell the story of our circularity transition.


The classic linear economic model (extraction-production-consumption-waste) is no longer sustainable for the planet: the need for a systemic approach to economic development that combines economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and social inclusion, and the urgency with which it needs to happen, is becoming increasingly evident to public administrative bodies, companies and society as a whole. A key element in achieving this objective is the circular economy – regenerative by design – which aims to decouple growth from the consumption of non-renewable resources, whilst extending the life of existing goods and assets and thereby reducing CO2 emissions.

Furthermore, from an economic standpoint, the application of this model represents an important opportunity: firstly, in terms of reducing costs and any issues regarding the availability of raw materials and, secondly, in terms of generating additional revenues through the continued use of assets and materials.

It can also be advantageous in terms of generating new jobs, with the need for new professionals and expertise relating to the new business models, such as in design, sourcing materials from local supply chains, repair and maintenance, reverse logistics and recycling.

For years, our Group has been integrating circular economy principles into its strategy and applying them throughout the entire value chain. This is being achieved through continuous innovation that involves a structural reappraisal of the entire business model: not only with respect to technologies and processes but also in terms of collaboration with its own ecosystem. 

Examples range from the development of circular smart meters made of fully regenerated plastic, purposely conceived to be circular right from the design phase, to a solar power plant equipped with sustainable, high-performance photovoltaic modules at the 3Sun factory in Catania, Italy, which is destined to become a Gigafactory with a 15-fold increase in production capacity (3 GW per year, up from the current 200 MW).

This document sets out our vision of the circular economy - including the benefits it brings for the environment, for society, and for companies - through a series of in-depth analyses of our Group's experiences: Enel's circular transition is therefore reconstructed via the strategies we’ve adopted, the projects we’ve developed, the results we’ve achieved and, finally, the challenges we expect to face in the future.

Download the document here.