The great social and environmental challenges facing the world require a radical revision of the conventional development model. The Circular Economy emerges as a solution, proposing a change from the linear model based on extraction, production, consumption and discarding, towards a more sustainable economic model through innovation, competitiveness and care for the environment. It seeks to disengage economic development from the exploitation of natural resources, thus rethinking the design of its processes and products, contributing in turn to the regeneration of natural ecosystems.
It is based upon three main principles:
- The elimination of waste and pollution starting from the design of the products and services.
- For materials and products to remain in use over time.
- The regeneration of the natural ecosystems.
Six years ago Enel began its transition towards a sustainable business model through a decisive acceleration of the decarbonization process. In 2016, aligned with this decision, Enel expanded this approach to encompass all of the Group's businesses, adopting, among other things, the Circular Economy model as a strategic accelerator.
In 2019, aligned with Enel's organizational model, the Chile Circular Economy area was created under the Sustainability Management. In 2020, leaders were identified in each business line, and a community of circular economy experts was created in order to promote the implementation of this new economic model.
Enel's Circular Economy strategy is based upon the following pillars:
- Circular inputs: The incorporation of energy from renewable sources and the use of renewable raw materials, reuse or recycling in production processes, enabling the total or partial elimination of waste and pollution generation.
- Product as a service: Business model by which companies maintain ownership over the product and sell its benefits under the form of a service. In order to take advantage of its benefits, they seek to maximize its utilization factor and to extend its life by means of good maintenance and treatment when done with its use.
- New life cycles: The incorporation of new solutions such as reuse, upcycling, remanufacturing and recycling once the product has served its purpose or its life ends. Thus, maintaining the value of assets and materials over time when using them in new processes.
- Product life extension: In order to extend the life of the product, a modular design is incorporated, preventive or predictive maintenance, repair, reconditioning, improvement activities take place, and their resale in secondary markets is carried out.
- Sharing platforms: Sharing of an underutilized asset among multiple users through information technology. For example, platforms enabling users to sell, exchange or share products owned by them, which maximizes their use.
Should you require further learning, please visit the circular economy projects here.