The circular economy: Enel in the CE100

Published on Friday, 18 January 2019

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was launched by Dame Ellen MacArthur in 2010 with the aim of accelerating the transition to a circular economy. The Foundation has since emerged as a global thought leader establishing the circular economy on the agenda of decision makers across business, government and academia. Enel has decided to become a part of it by joining the Circular Economy 100 (CE100).

The CE100 network brings together corporates, governments and cities, academic institutions, emerging innovators and affiliates in a unique multi-stakeholder platform.

The specially developed programme elements help members learn, build capacity, network and collaborate with key organisations around the circular economy. This is an economy that does not simply involve reuse and recycling, but is a new economic model that is restorative and regenerative by design.

By joining the programme, Enel seeks first of all to streamline its progress towards the sustainable economy by working with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and cooperating with other companies and organisations. It is intended that two or more members of the programme can set up collaborative projects (Co-Projects) on specific themes – many such projects have already been completed and others have been launched. What’s more, working with an organisation with such a high international profile enables us to create greater visibility for our activities in this field.

Boosting our drive towards the circular economy by integrating it into a wider context also strengthens our commitment to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs, especially Goal #12 (Responsible Production and Consumption), as well as Goal #13 (Climate Action) and Goal #17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

Joining the CE100 is, however, only the most recent step along our path towards the circular economy. In 2017 our Group, together with Intesa Sanpaolo, was promoter of “The Circular Economy Alliance,” while in 2018 we produced a position paper entitled “Cities of tomorrow. Circular cities” on the circular economy in an urban environment. 2018 was also the year that we led a study called “100 Italian Circular Economy Stories,” together with the Symbola Foundation.

Above all, though, we show our commitment to the circular economy through our everyday activities, starting from the development of renewable sources, circular energy by definition. We are also following the principle of circularity for the Sustainable worksites project in the choice of materials to use and recovering those that have been demolished. The Futur-e project involves thermal plants that have reached the end of their working lives and is a model of the circular economy. The aim is to identify case by case, in a creative way, the best way to take advantage of these sites and transform them into new opportunities for the local area.

To assess the reach and effectiveness of our actions we have developed a method for measuring their circularity – the CirculAbility model, which we also apply to our suppliers. Indeed we believe in the importance of promoting the culture of circularity, and for this reason we organise awareness activities like conventions, publications and a dedicated section on our website. Our participation in CE100 is a further qualitative leap for our mission.