Circularity in our strategy

The circular economy as a lever of the Eni transition.

9 min read
9 min read

Developed in response to today's global environmental challenges, one of the levers of the Eni transition path is the circular economy, which is designed to lead society towards the adoption of a regenerative model, a strategic element to achieve the goals of net zero emissions by 2050 and decarbonization of all the products and services Eni offers its customers.
By adopting a circular model, business processes are reassessed, minimising the use of natural resources favouring sustainable inputs, reducing and valorising waste through recovery and/or recycling activities, extending the useful life of products and assets through reuse or conversion activities. The principles of circularity underpin Eni's commitment together with the protection of the environment, of air, soil, water and biodiversity.

Our circular economy model

Eni's circular economy model is based on the following 6 pillars: 

  • Sustainable input 
  • Eco-design
  • COcircularity
  • Product as a service
  • Extension of useful life
  • Reduction, Reuse, Recycling and Recovery

And 3 levers as the tools to support their implementation:

  • Life Cycle Perspective
  • Research and technological innovation
  • Collaborations

Find out more by browsing the infographic.

It is essential a new paradigm of development that makes us move from linear to circular growth to reduce waste, transform waste and give new life to what already exists.

Claudio Descalzi

Our circular projects

In line with our circular economy model, we implement new solutions that are able to transform current business and consumption models.

Asphalts with ELTs

Eni and Ecopneus have signed an agreement for the research and evaluation of technologies suitable for using ELTs to make sustainable chemical and energy products.

Vertical integration in bio-refining

With the aim of decarbonizing all its products and services by 2050, Eni places increasing emphasis on renewable and low-impact sources, focusing closely on the research and development of new forms of energy and innovative energy production methods.

In accordance with the principles of circularity, environmental protection and respect for human rights, Eni adopts a vertically integrated approach to bio-refining which connects its transition with that of the countries in which it operates. In a number of African countries, such as the Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Angola, Mozambique, Rwanda, Côte d'Ivoire and Algeria, Eni is building a network of agri-hubs to supply its biorefineries and to reach a production target of 200,000 tonnes of vegetable oil by 2026, creating jobs and promoting local development. In addition, Eni works with farmers to reclaim marginal land, not in competition with the food chain, in order to grow plants for energy production. Consolidating this model, which has significant spill-over effects on local employment, represents a further step forward on Eni's decarbonization pathway and contributes to the energy transition of the countries involved, integrating them in the biofuel value chain.

Partnerships, alliances and collaborations

Eni currently has around 90 active Agreements and Partnerships, signed with private entities, public administrations and various other types of entities.

To implement an effective transition to an increasingly circular economic system, Eni considers it essential to act in synergy with its various partners and stakeholders, constantly promoting dialogue and collaboration.

Eni achieves this commitment through numerous partnerships, alliances and platforms, involving institutions, peers and actors involved in all phases of the product and service life cycle. In this context, the driving force of research and the development of new technologies play an essential role.

Below is a snapshot of Eni's main agreements, organised by business:

  • GTR&M (Green/Traditional Refining and Marketing): for biomethane: the Italian Biogas Consortium, Coldiretti and Confagricoltura, with whom Eni wants to build cross-sectoral supply chains between the agricultural and energy worlds. For UCO (used cooking oil), an alternative to processed vegetable oils in bio-refineries: the CONOE, RenOils and Utilitalia consortia. For end-of-life tyres (ELTs): Ecopneus.
  • Versalis: partnerships in the area of plastics and rubber recycling include agreements with Forever Plast, Ecoplastic and Corepla, as well as AGR for the development of elastomer-based products from post-consumer rubber. It is also worth noting the partnership with Servizi di Ricerche e Sviluppo (S.R.S.), which owns a pyrolysis technology for the chemical recycling of plastics.
  • Eni Rewind: Eni's environmental company has signed several public and private partnerships for remediation and water and waste management, such as the joint ventures with CDP Equity and Herambiente and the MoU with A2A. Since the start of operations abroad, the MoU with the National Oil & Gas Authority of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Indonesian company Pertamina.

Circular initiatives

Eni carries out initiatives that begin with raising awareness among stakeholders and local communities and end with the implementation of more concrete projects.

Local commitments

Our transformative attitude and the circularity platform are the basis for consolidating a change that is based on long-term relationships with local stakeholders, attention to the specific features of the local areas, and listening to and including stakeholders in the promotion of new cultural models.

GTR&M (Green/Traditional Refining and Marketing): circular economy solutions are the basis for the protocols with the city of San Donato Milanese and metropolitan area, Taranto, Kyma and the Campania region. This includes trialling projects for waste recovery to sustainable mobility, smart digitalisation of the urban area and promoting the use of asphalt with a low environmental impact.

Versalis: in the areas where it operates, it is committed to developing projects to engage and raise public awareness of the circular economy and sustainability. In particular, through targeted communication and information sharing activities, it is possible to call areas to action and spread the culture of circular economy, building on the actions of individual citizens to achieve common goals.

Eni Rewind is engaged in remediation and redevelopment activities to give new life to disused or former industrial areas so they can host new development initiatives, acting as a driver of local sustainable growth. A circular commitment that is also realised through the management and regeneration of groundwater and waste.

Circular Consumption Charter

The Circular Consumption Charter is the result of a process aimed at consumers launched by Eni in collaboration with the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa and 19 trade associations recognised by the Ministry of Economic Development. The charter identifies a number of guiding principles and proposals for action to encourage more circular consumption choices.

Measuring circularity

For Eni, measuring circularity is an essential tool for the control, management, transparency and credibility of the objectives and commitments made to its stakeholders in the transition towards a circular economy model. In this area, the Eni HSEQ (Health, Safety, Environment, & Quality) department, with the support of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa, has developed a Circularity Measurement Model, validated by Certiquality, a third-party certification body, based on internationally recognised principles.

The model has been applied to different company areas including operational sites, processes and business units, allowing, through the monitoring of specific indicators including HSE indicators, the detection of both the current circularity levels and the effect of the improvement opportunities identified.

The model also provides for following the guidance of national and international standardisation bodies engaged in drafting standards to measure circularity. Eni is a member of the UNI/CT 057 "Circular Economy" Commission, a mirror of ISO/TC 323 "Circular Economy".

Circularity becomes business

Joule is Eni's business school, set up in 2020 with the aim of fostering the development of innovative and sustainable startups through training courses aimed at the new generation of entrepreneurs and an accelerator dedicated to decarbonization, the fight against climate change and the circular economy.

In 2021 Joule developed a model for assessing business ideas that meet circularity criteria in collaboration with the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa, and in particular with its spin-off Ergo, which is consistent with Eni's circularity measurement model. This model is one of the tools with which the company promotes and develops the principles of circular economy to contribute to the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, in particular Goal 12 for Sustainable consumption and production.