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Circular Economy: a Competitive Resource for Companies

Circular Economy: a Competitive Resource for Companies


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Circular Economy, Italian style, or circular economy. In any language you want to define it, in essence it is an economic system that was born with characteristics that allow it to regenerate itself. There Ellen MacArthur Foundation the Circular Economy defines the one in which they are noticed two streams of materials, the biological ones, capable of being reintegrated into the biosphere, and the technical ones, destined to be revalued without entering the biosphere.

With these contextual and more theoretical premises, we go down with our feet on the ground, on Italian soil, in Milan where Assolombarda Confindustria Milan Monza and Brianza together with Bocconi University on 24 October it organized an appointment dedicated to this economic system, giving space to those who translate it into facts or projects ready to be implemented.

Circular Economy: objectives and advantages

What is aimed at by implementing principles of Circular Economy, and to reduce the withdrawal of natural resources and the waste to be disposed of, which is possible if they are studied and applied production and consumption patterns that already prevent the production of waste and make prolonged use of most products possible. It is also important to raise awareness and facilitate every possibility of reuse and recycling.

THE advantages of this increasingly necessary economic system, are not only environmental, they also concern theand companies and their business, beyond the countries and sectors in which they operate. The examples that were illustrated in Milan on 24 October together with the prospects emerging from the activities of the C.E.R.C.A.project Let's see some of them.

Circular Economy for Bracco Imaging

In the context of the Circular Economy, the company Bracco he explored the topic of LCA, acronym of Life Cycle Assessment, or the "life cycle assessment", a very important concept when it comes to reducing waste and waste. In order to evaluate the life cycle of a certain product or material, or even of a service, it is necessary to review all the interactions it has, from its birth to its disposal final, also analyzing how it is distributed and used.

On the basis of the rules that today regulate the LCA procedure at an international level (ISO 14040 and 14044), it emerges that, in order to research on water and sludge deriving from a purifier, which treats pharmaceutical waters, an authorization is required for the treatment of hazardous waste. The problem is that it takes an average of 18 months to get it.

This represents an obstacle to the Circulary Economy because it is precisely the assessment of the life cycle that allows us to understand how to improve the environmental aspects of products in the different stages of their life cycle, also supporting the strategic decisions of companies and consistently choosing the relevant environmental performance indicators and related measurement techniques. Without forgetting that, what has been said above, leads to companies that are interested in it, a actual savings, as well as an excellent love of green reality.

Circular Economy for Carlsberg

A company like Carlsberg, put design and how to study the best one to take steps towards a process of "dematerialisation" in perfect harmony with the objectives of the Circular Economy: decrease the amount of waste. The packaging very often in a short time it becomes waste, it has a short life even if at the marketing level, it sometimes seems essential.

A company that has a product wrapped in packaging at the center of its business can act in a "circular" perspective choosing raw materials with a lower environmental impact and reducing the quantities used for their own design with a view to efficiency. There word "waste" should not appear in its guidelines, according to Carlsberg who is working hard in this regard by focusing above all on technologic innovations without however forgetting consumer awareness activities.

Circular Economy for SOL spa

This company counts among its activities that of home care with its "VIVISOL" branch with which it is the third operator in Europe with about 350,000 patients served daily and over 1,700 employees. With a view to the Circular Economy, it investigated the methods of recovery of the invasive mechanical ventilation kit proposing to explore the various possibilities of recover part of the consumable products contained therein.

The standard kit is provided once a year, every year, to patients on invasive ventilation at the end of care. Using models developed by IEFE of Bocconi University to understand environmental benefits and economic savings deriving from the recovery of materials, SOL tried to imagine the consequences of the improvements that could be introduced in the sector.

For each of the 9,000 people in intensive ventilation that can be counted today in Italy, the kit consists of 365 filters, 1,000 tubes, 365 special gauzes, 150 catheter mounts and 12 tubes, all in individually sealed sterile packages. The recovery rate of this material can vary from 20% to 80% but it is necessary, as SOL pointed out, the collaboration of producers, because the circle of "Circulary economy"Really close.

The advantages would be substantial: in terms of kg of CO2 equivalent saved, with the minimum kit recovery rate (20%) it would reach 466 t per year, with a maximum rate (80%) even 1,863 t per year, the equivalent of the annual absorption of approximately 18,632 - 74,528 plants.

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Video: 3. The new EU Circular Economy Action Plan for a cleaner and more competitive Europe (June 2022).