• 16 June 2021

    Circular Economy and the SDGs

    By Simina Scripat English Version The crisis caused by COVID-19 and the effects of climate change made the transition to an economic system in which production and consumption are more sustainable increasingly urgent. This implies a total paradigm shift from the status quo. In this new perspective, the needs of the present must be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. To achieve such development, in 2015 the Member Countries of the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. These goals are based on the three pillars: environmental, social, and economic. Given the close interconnection of these levels, a transformation of the economic system can also bring environmental and social benefits. Generally speaking, studies have shown how the circular model can benefit the achievement of all SDGs. For example, it has a direct effect on ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (SDG 6). In fact, several parts of the world currently experience severe water shortages at least once a year. The use of circular practices, such as the development of small-scale water purification technologies or wastewater treatment to reduce the discharge of wastewater into drinking water sources, may offer a solution to this water access issue. Circular economy (CE) can also directly benefit the achievement of SDG 7 – ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. Energy is one of the most polluting sectors, and as a study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation shows, the transition to renewable energy can address 55% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. By introducing CE in five sectors (key cement, plastics, steel, aluminum, and food), it would be possible to reduce these emissions by 9.3 billion tons, thus curbing the other...
  • 11 June 2021

    What is Additive Manufacturing?

    By Giovanna Matrone and Simone Bambagioni English Version The manufacturing process is currently living its fourth revolution: Industry 4.0. Based on a wide range of new technologies combining physical, digital, and biological aspects, this means taking an enormous step forward compared to the previous revolutions mainly characterized by technological advancement. These new technologies are impacting all disciplines, economies, and industries, as well as challenging ideas about our conditions as humans. The main characteristic of Industry 4.0 is the connectivity between machines, orders, employees, suppliers, and customers. This digital transformation – based on Internet-of-Things and electronic devices – impacts the entire value chain of the manufacturing process. Within this revolution, some trends are receiving more attention and investments due to their high potential: Smart factory, Predictive maintenance, and 3D printing. 3D printing is a computer-controlled process serving object production by adding sequential layers of material (metal, plastic, composite). The evolution of this technology, mostly used for prototyping of low volumes, is the Additive Manufacturing (AM) aimed to support a real serial production. This manufacturing process significantly differs from conventional subtractive methods, mainly based on removing material from a solid block. AM offers significant advantages: production innovation can be accelerated, while product customization and functional integration can be reached quickly and at lower costs. This makes AM attractive for many companies to differentiate themselves on the market and reach sustainability targets. Indeed, AM becomes a fundamental step in transitioning from a linear to a circular economy, disrupting current supply chain in terms of design, materials, manufacturing, and products. DESIGN AM basically expands the scope of design to a wider range of factors, asking engineers for a real mindset change. Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) is not just focused on the manufacturing step itself, but it also considers the material properties, part parameters,...
  • 8 June 2021

    Circular Threads

    Versione Italiana Comunicato Stampa Circular Threads Tondo presenta il primo studio italiano sulla relazione tra industria del tessile ed Economia Circolare per valutare il livello di circolarità del settore nel Nord Italia Tondo, Fondazione Pistoletto, Associazione Tessile e Salute e Rén sono lieti di annunciare la presentazione dello studio Circular Threads, che verrà illustrato per la prima volta presso la sede della Fondazione Pistoletto a Biella il 22 giugno dalle ore 14:30 alle ore 18:30.   Lo studio Circular Threads è stato sviluppato con l’intenzione di promuovere la transizione verso l’Economia Circolare nell’industria tessile attraverso una prima misurazione del livello di sostenibilità e circolarità su scala settoriale e aziendale. L’industria tessile rappresenta un settore cruciale dell’economia italiana. L’adozione di modelli produttivi basati sui principi dell’Economia Circolare permetterebbe a questo settore di diventare non solo più sostenibile, ma anche più resiliente, efficiente e redditizio. “Misurare la sostenibilità, saperla valorizzare senza cadere nei luoghi comuni del greenwashing e mantenere alti i valori dell’etica, questi sono i fattori che possono aiutare le manifatture a differenziarsi” – commenta Marco Piu, Direttore di Associazione Tessile e Salute. La ricerca, che ha coinvolto circa 300 aziende, è stata condotta su 3 livelli di analisi (desk search, questionario, misurazione della circolarità) fornendo una panoramica della situazione attuale del settore, con l’obiettivo ultimo di comprendere i gap esistenti e di accelerare la transizione verso l’Economia Circolare nell’industria tessile, anche grazie all’identificazione delle best practices e delle principali sfide da affrontare. “La volontà di portare avanti questo studio – racconta Alberto Monti, Head of Research di Tondo – nasce dalla consapevolezza dell’esistenza di una serie di criticità che il settore del tessile si trova a dover affrontare, ma anche dalla convinzione che i principi dell’Economia Circolare possano servire non solo per far diventare l’intero settore più sostenibile, ma anche più produttivo, redditizio e...
  • 4 June 2021

    The Digital and Green transition

    English Version Pietro Lanza General Manager of Intesa (IBM Group) and Blockchain Director of IBM Italia was with us at our Re-think Circular Economy Forum in October. Together we discussed how the transition towards the Circular Economy and the Green Deal create new opportunities for businesses in which technology and digital innovation play a key role. According to Pietro Lanza, what we are experiencing is a new industrial revolution that is based on exponential technologies, such as IoT, AI, cognitive computing, and Cloud. These technologies are growing at a global scale and allow companies to move towards new business models, enabling the Green and Digital Transition to a Circular Economy. The technology sector is then becoming a key player in redesigning businesses for Italian mid and big-size companies, especially because the supply chains of many industries are becoming more complex. Why are these technologies important? To unlock the potential of a Circular Economy through these new technologies, it is useful to highlight seven essential steps. First of all, it is necessary to understand and leverage the usage of IoT platforms. The second step is about focusing on the right data and analyzing them. This step is usually supported by AI combined with Machine Learning. The next one deals with rethinking the operations, an area in which Intesa is deploying a lot of effort, helping its clients in redefining their processes from the product design to the supply chain to the overall industrial processes. In this step blockchain, augmented reality, and optimization of the processes through innovation are often used. The fourth step is about connections: we are living in an interconnected world, which means that it is important to leverage on open platforms to connect in real-time actors across all the network. The blockchain is an example of a connected...
  • By Benedetta Esposito English Version The agri-food sector has been severely affected by many problems, such as resource scarcity, food loss and waste generation along the worldwide supply chain which, in 2019, counted approximately 1.3 billion tons, generating a cost of more than 1000 billion dollars per year (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2019). The decline in biodiversity and the improper management of resources and processes represent only some of the causes of such problems. Accordingly, a need has emerged to radically redesign the traditional linear economic path of production and consumption. In this scenario, Circular Economy emerges as a possible strategy that is able to overcome these critical issues, especially in the state of emergency generated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Hence, the need to adopt models and tools of Circular Economy in the agri-food sector is imperative to overcome these problems. Under this lens, the company’s performance should be guided towards consumption reduction, optimization of resource management, reduction of environmental impacts, waste reduction, and the reuse of leftovers. Moreover, the literature has shown that stakeholders’ engagement plays a pivotal role in catalyzing the shift towards the adoption of circular economy models, which is required at the supply-chain level rather than the individual company level. Indeed, one of the main barriers to circular economy implementation is the lack of information about the stakeholders involved in the supply chain. In addition to primary producers, numerous categories of subjects should be involved, such as customers and consumers, investors, public decision-makers, the process and transformation industry and distribution. Insightful information about companies’ practices can support sustainable business systems in the agri-food sector. Consistent with this statement, researchers have demonstrated that incorporating social and environmental considerations into the decision-making process and customers ‘reuse activities’ yields significant economic benefits. Therefore, sustainability commitments and the actions of...
  • 28 May 2021

    The Netherlands Circular Strategy

    English Version Johan Verboom, Consul General in Milan for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, joined us at Re-think Circular Economy Forum to discuss how the Netherlands is working to promote a transition to a Circular Economy. Johan Verboom explained how the Netherlands is consolidating its position as a pioneer in the Circular Economy, promoting initiatives and investments in incubators and innovative startups. The Circular Economy transition is assuming even more importance due to the Covid-19 situation and the inputs of the European Union, which is the most active organization supporting this transition, as evident for example by the publication of the European Action Plan for the Circular Economy. In this context, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement form an important framework that considers the Circular Economy both as a solution for environmental problems and as an important economic opportunity. The EU expects the transition to the circular economy to boost economic growth by € 550 billion and to create 2 million jobs. McKinsey expects a net economic benefit for Europe of € 1.8 trillion by 2030. The ambitions of the Netherlands Within this European framework, the Netherlands has also set ambitious goals: by 2030, the country aims to halve the consumption of raw materials and by 2050, they aim to have a fully circular society. In order to pursue these goals, the Dutch Government has prepared a program for a circular economy setting 3 main targets. Firstly, they want to produce more efficiently, decreasing the use of raw materials. Secondly, they want to use more sustainably produced renewable raw materials like biomass, making the Netherlands less dependent on fossil fuels. Thirdly, they want to implement more sustainable and circular production methods. In this perspective, the Netherlands has also established a specific agenda for 5...
  • Versione Italiana Antonio Vaccari, Head of Health, Safety and Environment di Esselunga, è stato nostro ospite durante il nostro evento Re-think Circular Economy Forum. Esselunga è una consolidata azienda alimentare italiana, che opera come rivenditore e produttore. I concetti di sostenibilità ed economia circolare sono intrinseci nel modello di business di Esselunga. Infatti, l’azienda ha collaborato con Tondo anche in occasione del nostro hackathon Hacking the City, chiedendo a giovani studenti e neolaureati di sviluppare nuovi modi per rendere le nostre città più circolari. La strategia di sostenibilità di Esselunga si basa su 5 pilastri: clienti, dipendenti, fornitori, ambiente e comunità. Gli obiettivi principali di tale strategia sono la minimizzazione delle emissioni di Co2, l’imballaggio sostenibile e la riduzione dei rifiuti. Uno degli esempi più importanti di questo impegno è il fatto che negli ultimi 20 anni, Esselunga ha eliminato gli imballaggi secondari utilizzando 2 milioni di casse riutilizzabili e lavabili nei propri circuiti interni. Ripensare l’imballaggio In occasione dell’evento Re-think, Antonio Vaccari ha spiegato al pubblico quale è il delicato equilibrio tra packaging sostenibile e qualità del cibo e come Esselunga lo gestisce nelle scelte quotidiane. La strategia di packaging sostenibile dell’azienda mira soprattutto a ridurre, riciclare e sostituire la plastica mista ad altri materiali e a diminuire l’uso di imballaggi eccessivi. Allo stesso tempo, Esselunga vuole garantire la qualità dei suoi prodotti dal punto di vista della sicurezza alimentare, assicurando un’adeguata durata di conservazione dei suoi prodotti e riducendo così i potenziali sprechi. Entro il 2025, l’azienda vuole garantire che il 100% degli imballaggi dei prodotti Esselunga siano realizzati con materiali compostabili, riciclabili o riciclati. Esselunga persegue questo obiettivo coinvolgendo i suoi fornitori e i suoi consumatori, utilizzando un approccio scientifico, supportato anche dal metodo Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): Esselunga valuta ogni giorno l’impatto delle sue scelte di...
  • 21 May 2021

    Cingomma: fashion from old tires

    English version Cingomma is an Italian company that creates accessories such as belts, wallets, bags, and key chains, bringing to life tires, billboards, sails, neoprene, and fire hoses. Cingomma was born almost ten years ago in Turin from an idea of a small group of friends who decided they preferred a product whose creation was industrious and not industrial. The challenge they set themselves was to bring together passions, skills, and talents to create a product that would encapsulate the values and ethics of a group of people who chose to improve the world in which they live.  The guys at Cingomma like to define themselves as a creative reality and strongly believe that in order to be good ARTisans, it is necessary to be ARTists. Each product made by Cingomma is therefore unique, creative, handmade, green, and 100% made in Italy. How does it work? At the base of Cingomma is the desire to reinvent the consumption model that is dominant today, reusing products that only apparently have completed their life cycle but that can still be reused and revalued. Every year, in Italy alone, 380,000 tons of tires are disposed of. Cingomma chooses to recover this material, subjecting it to advanced cleaning treatments and transforming it into a beautiful, super-resistant, Italian, and above all unique clothing accessory! Each of the accessories made by Cingomma is characterized by the presence of a fabric label with a number that proves the uniqueness of the product. The numbering is curiously negative: the idea is in fact to show to those who buy an object made by Cingomma how much material has been diverted from landfills. Although bicycle tires and inner tubes are the basis of all Cingomma’s creations, the company loves to experiment and contaminate its products with other waste materials....
  • English Version In October we had the pleasure to host at our Re-think Circular Economy Forum Oriana Romano, Head of the Water Governance and Circular Economy Unit at OECD. In this occasion, Oriano Romano shared with us the Circular Economy in Cities and Regions Synthesis Report published by the OECD. This report comes as the result of two years of work, during which the OECD carried out a survey across more than 50 cities and regions, interviewed more than 300 stakeholders, and analyzed 6 case-study from Europe. The report shows the state of the art of circular economy related initiatives in cities and regions, the obstacles that we currently face, and a series of ways forward. Oriana Romano shared with us the five key messages of the report. The Circular Economy is about economy. While the narrative that portrays the Circular Economy as an instrument to tackle climate change has been predominant, there is a strong socio-economic argument in favor of moving towards a more circular system. By 2050, the global population will reach 9 billion people, 55% of which will be urban, global material use will double, compared to 2011, with consequences on GHG emissions. The Circular Economy can bring benefits in terms of production savings (estimated at EUR 600 billion in the EU-27 by 2030). There is a possibility of creating job opportunities, as activities like repairing, upgrading, and remanufacturing are more labor intensive than mining and manufacturing. The Circular Economy can also have a positive impact on economic growth and material saving. This is what cities are considering when embarking in this transition. Secondly, the Circular Economy is not a new concept, but it is incipient for several cities. While the economic literature first developed the concept of Circular Economy in the seventies, its application on the...
  • 7 May 2021

    Krill Design: from waste to product

    English Version Italian version below A few months ago, we had the pleasure of hosting Ivan Calimani, founder of Krill Design, at our Re-think Circular Economy Forum, the event that we created as a meeting opportunity for those working in the Circular Economy sector. Krill Design is a startup, founded in October 2018, that puts design and technology at the service of the Circular Economy. In his speech, Ivan Calimani, first explained how the need to launch this startup was born from an understanding of just how critical it is that we redesign the way we think about waste. Every year in the world, hundreds of millions of tons of organic material are generated as waste and 98% of these materials end up in landfills to be incinerated or rot in open bins. European companies generate 88 million tons of waste per year, or 20% of all European food production, resulting in an economic loss of 143 billion euros per year. It is estimated that wasted food generates around 3.3 million tons of CO2 per year, representing about 8% of global emissions. This is why the food and beverage industry is looking for effective and sustainable solutions to recycle and reuse waste. In fact, food waste can be used today to realize raw materials for high-value products and help build a circular bioeconomy. Of course, new solutions often require a long phase of experimentation and don’t always prove beneficial to companies, but Krill Design has developed a Circular Economy model that starts and finishes within the same company, using the waste it produces to easily make a finished product. How does it work? How is it possible? Homogeneous food waste, such as peels, seeds, and shells, is transformed into a 100% biodegradable biopolymer. Through a 3D printer, it is then...
  • Comunicato Stampa Versione italiana Studenti universitari, neo-laureati e dottorandi si sono sfidati nella progettazione della città circolare del futuro durante il primo hackathon italiano sull’Economia Circolare Pochi giorni fa si è concluso Hacking the City | Design a Circular Future, il primo Hackathon realizzato da Tondo – organizzazione no-profit internazionale operante nel settore dell’economia circolare – in collaborazione con il Circular Economy Lab di Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center e Cariplo Factory e con il patrocinio di Fondazione Cariplo. L’hackathon ha visto come protagonisti studenti universitari, neolaureati e dottorandi di tutta Italia, che hanno proposto soluzioni concrete per la progettazione della città circolare del futuro, dando spazio a creatività, innovazione e passione e facendo fronte alle attuali sfide ambientali, sociali ed economiche. L’evento, che è stato realizzato interamente online, è nato con l’obiettivo di ideare e sostenere progettualità innovative e circolari, coinvolgendo i principali atenei italiani ed alcune delle maggiori aziende operanti in Italia su quest’ambito. “Siamo molto soddisfatti dalla buona riuscita e delle proposte innovative sviluppate durante Hacking the City – Design a Circular Future. L’hackathon si è rivelato un’importante occasione per mettere in relazione studenti, Università, aziende e singoli professionisti a favore di una crescita sostenibile e di un impatto sempre più trasversale della circular economy. È sempre motivo di ottimismo vedere con quanta passione e attenzione le nuove generazioni affrontino il tema della sostenibilità, evidenziando l’esigenza di promuovere un mondo più green e inclusivo”. Commenta Carlo Mango, Direttore Area Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica di Fondazione Cariplo e Consigliere Delegato di Cariplo Factory. Otto sono i settori strategici individuati, all’interno dei quali i partner industriali hanno definito delle challenge. Nello specifico: Salvatore Ferragamo per l’area Consumer Goods, Esselunga per l’area Food, Arup per l’area Design, Cisco per l’area Digital, Mapei per l’area Buildings, IREN per l’area Energy, Punch Torino...
  • By Simina Scripat English Version The crisis caused by COVID-19 and the effects of climate change made the transition to an economic system in which production and consumption are more sustainable increasingly urgent. This implies a total paradigm shift from the status quo. In this new perspective, the needs of the present must be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. To achieve such development, in 2015 the Member Countries of the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. These goals are based on the three pillars: environmental, social, and economic. Given the close interconnection of these levels, a transformation of the economic system can also bring environmental and social benefits. Generally speaking, studies have shown how the circular model can benefit the achievement of all SDGs. For example, it has a direct effect on ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (SDG 6). In fact, several parts of the world currently experience severe water shortages at least once a year. The use of circular practices, such as the development of small-scale water purification technologies or wastewater treatment to reduce the discharge of wastewater into drinking water sources, may offer a solution to this water access issue. Circular economy (CE) can also directly benefit the achievement of SDG 7 – ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. Energy is one of the most polluting sectors, and as a study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation shows, the transition to renewable energy can address 55% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. By introducing CE in five sectors (key cement, plastics, steel, aluminum, and food), it would be possible to reduce these emissions by 9.3 billion tons, thus curbing the other...
  • By Giovanna Matrone and Simone Bambagioni English Version The manufacturing process is currently living its fourth revolution: Industry 4.0. Based on a wide range of new technologies combining physical, digital, and biological aspects, this means taking an enormous step forward compared to the previous revolutions mainly characterized by technological advancement. These new technologies are impacting all disciplines, economies, and industries, as well as challenging ideas about our conditions as humans. The main characteristic of Industry 4.0 is the connectivity between machines, orders, employees, suppliers, and customers. This digital transformation – based on Internet-of-Things and electronic devices – impacts the entire value chain of the manufacturing process. Within this revolution, some trends are receiving more attention and investments due to their high potential: Smart factory, Predictive maintenance, and 3D printing. 3D printing is a computer-controlled process serving object production by adding sequential layers of material (metal, plastic, composite). The evolution of this technology, mostly used for prototyping of low volumes, is the Additive Manufacturing (AM) aimed to support a real serial production. This manufacturing process significantly differs from conventional subtractive methods, mainly based on removing material from a solid block. AM offers significant advantages: production innovation can be accelerated, while product customization and functional integration can be reached quickly and at lower costs. This makes AM attractive for many companies to differentiate themselves on the market and reach sustainability targets. Indeed, AM becomes a fundamental step in transitioning from a linear to a circular economy, disrupting current supply chain in terms of design, materials, manufacturing, and products. DESIGN AM basically expands the scope of design to a wider range of factors, asking engineers for a real mindset change. Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) is not just focused on the manufacturing step itself, but it also considers the material properties, part parameters,...
  • 8 June 2021

    Circular Threads

    Versione Italiana Comunicato Stampa Circular Threads Tondo presenta il primo studio italiano sulla relazione tra industria del tessile ed Economia Circolare per valutare il livello di circolarità del settore nel Nord Italia Tondo, Fondazione Pistoletto, Associazione Tessile e Salute e Rén sono lieti di annunciare la presentazione dello studio Circular Threads, che verrà illustrato per la prima volta presso la sede della Fondazione Pistoletto a Biella il 22 giugno dalle ore 14:30 alle ore 18:30.   Lo studio Circular Threads è stato sviluppato con l’intenzione di promuovere la transizione verso l’Economia Circolare nell’industria tessile attraverso una prima misurazione del livello di sostenibilità e circolarità su scala settoriale e aziendale. L’industria tessile rappresenta un settore cruciale dell’economia italiana. L’adozione di modelli produttivi basati sui principi dell’Economia Circolare permetterebbe a questo settore di diventare non solo più sostenibile, ma anche più resiliente, efficiente e redditizio. “Misurare la sostenibilità, saperla valorizzare senza cadere nei luoghi comuni del greenwashing e mantenere alti i valori dell’etica, questi sono i fattori che possono aiutare le manifatture a differenziarsi” – commenta Marco Piu, Direttore di Associazione Tessile e Salute. La ricerca, che ha coinvolto circa 300 aziende, è stata condotta su 3 livelli di analisi (desk search, questionario, misurazione della circolarità) fornendo una panoramica della situazione attuale del settore, con l’obiettivo ultimo di comprendere i gap esistenti e di accelerare la transizione verso l’Economia Circolare nell’industria tessile, anche grazie all’identificazione delle best practices e delle principali sfide da affrontare. “La volontà di portare avanti questo studio – racconta Alberto Monti, Head of Research di Tondo – nasce dalla consapevolezza dell’esistenza di una serie di criticità che il settore del tessile si trova a dover affrontare, ma anche dalla convinzione che i principi dell’Economia Circolare possano servire non solo per far diventare l’intero settore più sostenibile, ma anche più produttivo, redditizio e...
  • English Version Pietro Lanza General Manager of Intesa (IBM Group) and Blockchain Director of IBM Italia was with us at our Re-think Circular Economy Forum in October. Together we discussed how the transition towards the Circular Economy and the Green Deal create new opportunities for businesses in which technology and digital innovation play a key role. According to Pietro Lanza, what we are experiencing is a new industrial revolution that is based on exponential technologies, such as IoT, AI, cognitive computing, and Cloud. These technologies are growing at a global scale and allow companies to move towards new business models, enabling the Green and Digital Transition to a Circular Economy. The technology sector is then becoming a key player in redesigning businesses for Italian mid and big-size companies, especially because the supply chains of many industries are becoming more complex. Why are these technologies important? To unlock the potential of a Circular Economy through these new technologies, it is useful to highlight seven essential steps. First of all, it is necessary to understand and leverage the usage of IoT platforms. The second step is about focusing on the right data and analyzing them. This step is usually supported by AI combined with Machine Learning. The next one deals with rethinking the operations, an area in which Intesa is deploying a lot of effort, helping its clients in redefining their processes from the product design to the supply chain to the overall industrial processes. In this step blockchain, augmented reality, and optimization of the processes through innovation are often used. The fourth step is about connections: we are living in an interconnected world, which means that it is important to leverage on open platforms to connect in real-time actors across all the network. The blockchain is an example of a connected...
  • By Benedetta Esposito English Version The agri-food sector has been severely affected by many problems, such as resource scarcity, food loss and waste generation along the worldwide supply chain which, in 2019, counted approximately 1.3 billion tons, generating a cost of more than 1000 billion dollars per year (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2019). The decline in biodiversity and the improper management of resources and processes represent only some of the causes of such problems. Accordingly, a need has emerged to radically redesign the traditional linear economic path of production and consumption. In this scenario, Circular Economy emerges as a possible strategy that is able to overcome these critical issues, especially in the state of emergency generated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Hence, the need to adopt models and tools of Circular Economy in the agri-food sector is imperative to overcome these problems. Under this lens, the company’s performance should be guided towards consumption reduction, optimization of resource management, reduction of environmental impacts, waste reduction, and the reuse of leftovers. Moreover, the literature has shown that stakeholders’ engagement plays a pivotal role in catalyzing the shift towards the adoption of circular economy models, which is required at the supply-chain level rather than the individual company level. Indeed, one of the main barriers to circular economy implementation is the lack of information about the stakeholders involved in the supply chain. In addition to primary producers, numerous categories of subjects should be involved, such as customers and consumers, investors, public decision-makers, the process and transformation industry and distribution. Insightful information about companies’ practices can support sustainable business systems in the agri-food sector. Consistent with this statement, researchers have demonstrated that incorporating social and environmental considerations into the decision-making process and customers ‘reuse activities’ yields significant economic benefits. Therefore, sustainability commitments and the actions of...
  • English Version Johan Verboom, Consul General in Milan for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, joined us at Re-think Circular Economy Forum to discuss how the Netherlands is working to promote a transition to a Circular Economy. Johan Verboom explained how the Netherlands is consolidating its position as a pioneer in the Circular Economy, promoting initiatives and investments in incubators and innovative startups. The Circular Economy transition is assuming even more importance due to the Covid-19 situation and the inputs of the European Union, which is the most active organization supporting this transition, as evident for example by the publication of the European Action Plan for the Circular Economy. In this context, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement form an important framework that considers the Circular Economy both as a solution for environmental problems and as an important economic opportunity. The EU expects the transition to the circular economy to boost economic growth by € 550 billion and to create 2 million jobs. McKinsey expects a net economic benefit for Europe of € 1.8 trillion by 2030. The ambitions of the Netherlands Within this European framework, the Netherlands has also set ambitious goals: by 2030, the country aims to halve the consumption of raw materials and by 2050, they aim to have a fully circular society. In order to pursue these goals, the Dutch Government has prepared a program for a circular economy setting 3 main targets. Firstly, they want to produce more efficiently, decreasing the use of raw materials. Secondly, they want to use more sustainably produced renewable raw materials like biomass, making the Netherlands less dependent on fossil fuels. Thirdly, they want to implement more sustainable and circular production methods. In this perspective, the Netherlands has also established a specific agenda for 5...
  • Versione Italiana Antonio Vaccari, Head of Health, Safety and Environment di Esselunga, è stato nostro ospite durante il nostro evento Re-think Circular Economy Forum. Esselunga è una consolidata azienda alimentare italiana, che opera come rivenditore e produttore. I concetti di sostenibilità ed economia circolare sono intrinseci nel modello di business di Esselunga. Infatti, l’azienda ha collaborato con Tondo anche in occasione del nostro hackathon Hacking the City, chiedendo a giovani studenti e neolaureati di sviluppare nuovi modi per rendere le nostre città più circolari. La strategia di sostenibilità di Esselunga si basa su 5 pilastri: clienti, dipendenti, fornitori, ambiente e comunità. Gli obiettivi principali di tale strategia sono la minimizzazione delle emissioni di Co2, l’imballaggio sostenibile e la riduzione dei rifiuti. Uno degli esempi più importanti di questo impegno è il fatto che negli ultimi 20 anni, Esselunga ha eliminato gli imballaggi secondari utilizzando 2 milioni di casse riutilizzabili e lavabili nei propri circuiti interni. Ripensare l’imballaggio In occasione dell’evento Re-think, Antonio Vaccari ha spiegato al pubblico quale è il delicato equilibrio tra packaging sostenibile e qualità del cibo e come Esselunga lo gestisce nelle scelte quotidiane. La strategia di packaging sostenibile dell’azienda mira soprattutto a ridurre, riciclare e sostituire la plastica mista ad altri materiali e a diminuire l’uso di imballaggi eccessivi. Allo stesso tempo, Esselunga vuole garantire la qualità dei suoi prodotti dal punto di vista della sicurezza alimentare, assicurando un’adeguata durata di conservazione dei suoi prodotti e riducendo così i potenziali sprechi. Entro il 2025, l’azienda vuole garantire che il 100% degli imballaggi dei prodotti Esselunga siano realizzati con materiali compostabili, riciclabili o riciclati. Esselunga persegue questo obiettivo coinvolgendo i suoi fornitori e i suoi consumatori, utilizzando un approccio scientifico, supportato anche dal metodo Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): Esselunga valuta ogni giorno l’impatto delle sue scelte di...
  • English version Cingomma is an Italian company that creates accessories such as belts, wallets, bags, and key chains, bringing to life tires, billboards, sails, neoprene, and fire hoses. Cingomma was born almost ten years ago in Turin from an idea of a small group of friends who decided they preferred a product whose creation was industrious and not industrial. The challenge they set themselves was to bring together passions, skills, and talents to create a product that would encapsulate the values and ethics of a group of people who chose to improve the world in which they live.  The guys at Cingomma like to define themselves as a creative reality and strongly believe that in order to be good ARTisans, it is necessary to be ARTists. Each product made by Cingomma is therefore unique, creative, handmade, green, and 100% made in Italy. How does it work? At the base of Cingomma is the desire to reinvent the consumption model that is dominant today, reusing products that only apparently have completed their life cycle but that can still be reused and revalued. Every year, in Italy alone, 380,000 tons of tires are disposed of. Cingomma chooses to recover this material, subjecting it to advanced cleaning treatments and transforming it into a beautiful, super-resistant, Italian, and above all unique clothing accessory! Each of the accessories made by Cingomma is characterized by the presence of a fabric label with a number that proves the uniqueness of the product. The numbering is curiously negative: the idea is in fact to show to those who buy an object made by Cingomma how much material has been diverted from landfills. Although bicycle tires and inner tubes are the basis of all Cingomma’s creations, the company loves to experiment and contaminate its products with other waste materials....
  • English Version In October we had the pleasure to host at our Re-think Circular Economy Forum Oriana Romano, Head of the Water Governance and Circular Economy Unit at OECD. In this occasion, Oriano Romano shared with us the Circular Economy in Cities and Regions Synthesis Report published by the OECD. This report comes as the result of two years of work, during which the OECD carried out a survey across more than 50 cities and regions, interviewed more than 300 stakeholders, and analyzed 6 case-study from Europe. The report shows the state of the art of circular economy related initiatives in cities and regions, the obstacles that we currently face, and a series of ways forward. Oriana Romano shared with us the five key messages of the report. The Circular Economy is about economy. While the narrative that portrays the Circular Economy as an instrument to tackle climate change has been predominant, there is a strong socio-economic argument in favor of moving towards a more circular system. By 2050, the global population will reach 9 billion people, 55% of which will be urban, global material use will double, compared to 2011, with consequences on GHG emissions. The Circular Economy can bring benefits in terms of production savings (estimated at EUR 600 billion in the EU-27 by 2030). There is a possibility of creating job opportunities, as activities like repairing, upgrading, and remanufacturing are more labor intensive than mining and manufacturing. The Circular Economy can also have a positive impact on economic growth and material saving. This is what cities are considering when embarking in this transition. Secondly, the Circular Economy is not a new concept, but it is incipient for several cities. While the economic literature first developed the concept of Circular Economy in the seventies, its application on the...
  • English Version Italian version below A few months ago, we had the pleasure of hosting Ivan Calimani, founder of Krill Design, at our Re-think Circular Economy Forum, the event that we created as a meeting opportunity for those working in the Circular Economy sector. Krill Design is a startup, founded in October 2018, that puts design and technology at the service of the Circular Economy. In his speech, Ivan Calimani, first explained how the need to launch this startup was born from an understanding of just how critical it is that we redesign the way we think about waste. Every year in the world, hundreds of millions of tons of organic material are generated as waste and 98% of these materials end up in landfills to be incinerated or rot in open bins. European companies generate 88 million tons of waste per year, or 20% of all European food production, resulting in an economic loss of 143 billion euros per year. It is estimated that wasted food generates around 3.3 million tons of CO2 per year, representing about 8% of global emissions. This is why the food and beverage industry is looking for effective and sustainable solutions to recycle and reuse waste. In fact, food waste can be used today to realize raw materials for high-value products and help build a circular bioeconomy. Of course, new solutions often require a long phase of experimentation and don’t always prove beneficial to companies, but Krill Design has developed a Circular Economy model that starts and finishes within the same company, using the waste it produces to easily make a finished product. How does it work? How is it possible? Homogeneous food waste, such as peels, seeds, and shells, is transformed into a 100% biodegradable biopolymer. Through a 3D printer, it is then...
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