Taranto becomes more circular with Tondo

A Circular Taranto is not only possible but is already present. Today, 6 December 2023, a meeting dedicated to the Taranto Circolare project, conceived and implemented by Tondo, was held in the Salone degli Specchi of the Municipality of Taranto.


The objective of Taranto Circular is to develop a platform that can connect companies, projects and funding to give birth to and boost new sustainable ideas of and for the territory. Necessary for the development of the project was an analysis of Taranto’s material and energy flows to understand the local potential and to stimulate circular change in the city through new projects.


Today we are presenting some of the first results of Taranto Circular,” explained Francesco Castellano, CEO and Founder of Tondo, “while waiting for the next presentation of the report we have been working on for about a year. There are project proposals for the city, a platform that brings together virtuous realities that lead circular economies, specific tools, and a section on financial resources for projects. We will involve the territory with workshops and activities and the platform will be more and more alive to generate ideas. Taranto Circular analyses the territory, maps existing projects and puts them together to promote new circular economy realities“.


The meeting, which was open to all citizens as well as stakeholders involved in the project, opened with institutional greetings from Taranto City Council President Piero Bitetti.


We are aiming for a sustainable economy,” said Piero Bitetti. “Taranto is characterised by monoculture, specifically the steel industry, but diversification is always desirable. We want initiatives like this one to help Taranto grow and become a protagonist“.


Also present at the meeting was the Director General of the Municipality of Taranto Carmine Pisano: ‘My task is to create guidelines in the administration to plan; any activity must be sustainable. We are structuring a strategic plan for the circular economy“.


Freshly appointed to the environment delegation, councillor Fabiano Marti also expressed his views: ‘The new delegation is stimulating,’ he specified, ‘we need to inform on environmental issues and involve young people as we are doing on this day. We must make the world habitable, that is the goal of the circular economy“.


Afterwards, Councillor of the President of the Puglia Region Cosimo Borraccino said: “Measures for young people, the bonus for circular economy projects, emission limitations with control laws are fundamental. The big changes are made by young people, Taranto is an important cultural laboratory”.


Confindustria Taranto President Salvatore Toma concluded: “Sharing and knowledge are fundamental. We used to do this with our associates, now we have also opened up to students. We need a cultural change in the territory, young people must ask themselves whether to be numbers elsewhere or protagonists of change in their own territory?


The meeting also hosted an intervention by Bart Volkers for Circular Groningen, a reality operating in the Netherlands, who gave an example of the impact that a similar initiative can generate, recounting their experience and their intervention in the territory.


Afterwards, Francesco Castellano presented the preview of the Taranto Circolare platform with all its functionalities, including tools for measuring the circularity of companies and products.


The event continued with a speech by Lucia Minutello, External Relations Manager for Cisa, on the territorial realities involved in circular economy issues: after which other Taranto realities committed to the circular economy, which have already joined the Taranto Circular Economy platform, also told their stories. These included Saverio Massaro for Esperimenti Architettonici, and Angelo di Noi for Preinvel: both illustrated their initiatives and projects.


Two university partners of the initiative also spoke, highlighting the relationship that needs to be cultivated between initiatives of this kind and local universities: Professor Gianluigi De Gennaro spoke for the University of Bari, Professor Giovanni Francesco Massari for the Politecnico di Bari.


Another international speech followed: Cheryl McCulloch spoke for Circular Glasgow, another initiative operating abroad that can serve as an example for Taranto Circolare.


The event continued with two speeches on the topic of financing the circular economy with Sergio Mario Dimitri, ESG Expert for Unicredit, and Vittorio Fresa, product manager for Invitalia.


Francesco Castellano then summarised the main results of the project. Taranto Circolare proposes an in-depth and detailed analysis of the level of circularity in the Taranto area. Specifically, the research highlights the inputs of the four production sectors considered relevant in the province, detailing the use of raw materials, and energy consumption, and the related outputs in terms of emissions, waste and by-products.


The analysis data showed a circularity index of 8.5%, while the total input materials of the main sectors analysed were estimated at around 16.9 million tonnes. Finally, among the energy indicators, the one concerning the percentage of gross renewable energy, compared to the total energy produced, was 21.2%.


The study of material and energy flows made it possible to highlight criticalities and strengths and to formulate project proposals aimed at orienting the territory towards greater circularity. With this objective in mind, the main opportunities identified focus on the valorisation of by-products and the streamlining of related processes, leveraging innovation and collaboration between the various territorial actors.


It all ended with Eni awarding the prize to the project considered the most circular and innovative among those that joined the platform with Emanuele Memmola, Circular Economy & Green Refinery at Eni. The winning project, identified with the support of Joule, Eni’s school for enterprise, was Bioenutra, with Pasquale Moretti: an innovative SME that has developed a circular economy project with the aim of producing natural active ingredients for nutraceutical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical use from the waste and by-products of agriculture and agro-industry.


Taranto Circolare is a project organised and promoted by Tondo, and Eni is the project’s main partner. The scientific partners are the University of Bari and the Polytechnic University of Bari. The project was realised with the support of PON Culture and Development, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the Bank of Italy and the Municipality of Taranto. In addition, the project received the patronage of Confindustria Taranto and Confapi Industria Taranto.


To discover more events organised by Tondo, visit this page!

Francesco Castellano

Francesco Castellano holds a Master degree in Business Administration, and he has gathered almost twenty years of experience in research, finance, consulting, and business management. During this time, he was engaged in different types of projects as a consultant at Bain & Company, launched Uber operations in Turin, and worked in the FP&A department at General Electric.Lately, he founded To... Read more

Francesco Castellano holds a Master degree in Business Administration, and he has gathered almost twenty years of experience in research, finance, consulting, and business management. During this time, he was engaged in different types of projects as a consultant at Bain & Company, launched Uber operations in Turin, and worked in the FP&A department at General Electric.

Lately, he founded Tondo, a cluster of organizations focusing on spreading Circular Economy approaches and concepts, and supporting companies in the transition to a clean and circular future. Francesco is also the ideator and coordinator of the Re-think Circular Economy Forum, a format of events organized in many different locations in Italy showcasing the most relevant Circular Economy solutions.

Francesco has been a guest speaker at different universities and events, like Federico II University, Bocconi University, LIUC - Cattaneo University, Pavia University, Padua University, Catholic University, IPE Business School, 24ORE Business School, Campus Party, Torino Stratosferica, Visionary Days.

Francesco is passionate about Circular Economy, Cleantech Innovations, Venture Building and Entrepreneurship.