Energy of the circular economy

The circular economy is a new paradigm to rethink the current development model, combining innovation, competitiveness and sustainability, and to respond to the big environmental and social questions.

This process, which Enel launched in 2016, has been gradually extended to the entire value chain, developing the collaboration and contribution of various internal and external actors, in an Open Power perspective. This approach has allowed the development of new business initiatives linked to technological innovation and the development of assets and materials, while also contributing to reducing the Group’s exposure to the use of non-renewable raw materials.

Enel’s vision of the circular economy stands on five pillars that define the related con-texts and methods of application.

Estensione vita utile Prodotto come servizio Piattaforme condivisione Nuovi cicli vita Input circolari

Useful life extension
Approach to the design and management of an asset or product aimed at extending its useful life, e.g. by means of modular design, facilitated repairability, predictive maintenance.

Product as a service
Business model in which the customer purchases a service for a limited time, while the company maintains the properties of the product, maximising the utilisation factor and useful life.

Shared platforms
Management systems in common among multiple users of products, assets, or skills.

New life cycles
All solutions aimed at preserving the value of an asset at the end of its life cycle thanks to reuse, regeneration, upcycling or recycling, in synergy with the other pillars.

Circular inputs
Production and use model based on renewable inputs or previous life cycles (reuse and recycling).

A lean and diffused governance structure, coordinated by an area at Holding level, has been set up to promote and manage these issues. The Business Lines define and identify the models, products, services and processes in relation to the reference contexts, while the Countries contribute to discussions concerning the topic of circular economy and handle relations with institutions, other companies (in all sectors) and stakeholders. Synergy between the three areas guarantees Enel’s effort to identify innovative solutions

Moreover, considering it to be essential to evaluate the success and effectiveness of the circular economy, Enel has developed a circularity measurement model (“CirculAbility Model”) that takes account of all five pillars, expressed through specific sub-indicators, namely flow circularity, which considers all components of materials and energy in the input and output phases, and circularity of use, which measures the materials utilisation factor, both through the extension of life expectancy and taking account of the application of sharing and “productas-a-service” principles.