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Circular Economy: one of the four founding pillars of A2A’s 2030 sustainability policy

What does this involve? Perhaps it goes without saying, but the “circular economy” is the exact opposite of the “linear economy”, which contemplates the following steps:

raw material > design > manufacturing > distribution > use > disposal

Well then, the circular economy re-imagines a product by taking three characteristics into account: design, solidity, material, for the purpose of salvaging its components. Thus, a continuous cycle is created, which we can summarise as follows:

raw materials > design > manufacturing > distribution > use and repair > collection > recycling > new material

According to the OECD, if the trend in manufacturing output from recent years continues, by 2060 the volume of raw materials used to produce objects will have doubled. The European Commission asserts that if companies move towards a circular economy, we could save approximately 24% of the raw materials utilised each year, thereby avoiding anywhere from 425 to 617 million tonnes of greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere.

Our company has now incorporated the principles of the circular economy into its way of doing business. We have made three of the UN 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable-Development Goals our own. The UN has identified these goals as of paramount importance for reaching a sustainable economy:

  • SDG 6, Clean water; health and hygiene services
  • SDG 12, Responsible consumption and production
  • SDG 15, Life on Earth

These points are the guiding force for our industrial operations. The result? We place a focus on reducing and managing waste in a sustainable manner throughout its life cycle: The rubbish we collect does not go off to die in a landfill, it is used for other things: it is sent off for recycling, or used as fuel in an energy-production plant. In 2018 alone, 99.7% of collected waste was kept out of landfills. Given the important of water as a source of life and biodiversity, we take steps to manage our water resources in a responsible manner as well. This approach applies from capture all the way through the wastewater purification process. In so doing, we ensure a low loss-percentage rate from the networks, and we increase the capacity and performance of our purifiers.

To summarise, we are amongst the first Italian companies to invest in sustainable development. We have tackled an issue (i.e. the Circular Economy) that is quite challenging to put into practice in our line of work. Yet we have set ambitious goals for ourselves which, in collaboration with the local citizenry, we are confident that we will achieve