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Zero emissions: the road map moves along the circular economy

4 min.

Zero emissions: the road map moves along the circular economy

The circular economy may hold the key to saving planet Earth: this is one of the conclusions drawn from the close scrutiny of two recently-published authoritative studies.

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In their Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, researchers from IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) were keen on analyzing the devastating implications of climate change in case global warming couldn’t be contained along the 1,5 degree threshold within the end of the century. The report provides a list of solutions that may avert disaster: the widespread use of renewable energy, the enhancement of energy efficiency, reforestation and carbon capture.

OECD’s Global Material Resources Outlook to 2060 report (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) is instead focused on what economic drivers will prevail until 2060 and the environmental ramifications they entail, highlighting how the circular economy proves pivotal for a truly sustainable development. One of its main conclusions dwells on how roughly half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are connected to the way resources are used. However, the growing relevance of services will reduce the need of materials, while technological innovation will allow to decouple development from resource usage and recycling will prove more and more competitive thanks to increments in innovation.

When jointly analyzed, both reports demonstrate how the circular economy has the enormous potential to foster the decarbonization process that will ultimately preserve the future of the planet if correctly implemented. Among the most important areas one can surely mention energy generation, transports and air-conditioning together with some energy-intensive manufacturing sectors like steel, plastics, aluminum and cement. Enel Group has been working for years on implementing a circular economy concept. The main scope of action is focused on gradually shifting the bulk of its energy generation mix towards renewables while, as a Group, it’s actively pursuing decarbonization in many other of its business areas. For instance, the Circular Procurement project strives to measure the degree of circularity attained by its suppliers in order to guide them towards innovative solutions that entail lower levels of raw materials and energy that ultimately result in lower carbon emissions. 

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Moreover, 2017 saw the launch of the new Enel X business division, fully focused on renewables, energy efficiency and innovative electric technologies like e-mobility recharge platforms, next gen batteries and the like. This is all in place to offer our clients a wide range of products and services that combine high performances and care for the environment. By adopting solutions based on a sharing philosophy, on the “product as a service” and on the extension of the service life of goods, all of these conjure towards reducing levels of consumption and the ecological footprint. All of the following solutions are an integral part of a “circular city” model, overall, a crucial endeavor to render the cities of tomorrow more sustainable while raising the life quality standards of its dwellers.

Last but not least, construction and dismantling works from Enel Group throughout the world are managed in terms of a circular economy perspective , implementing a series of best practices that allow to monitor and constantly enhance performances as a way to greatly reduce the ecological footprint of our business operations.

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