The circular economy model represents the replacement of the linear development model, based on the production and consumption of energy and natural resources, where products become waste at the end of their life cycle. The evolution towards a circular economy model is an opportunity for change which, while safeguarding natural capital, pursues sustainable development towards a low carbon economy and is capable of adapting and responding adequately to an increasingly complex socio-economic-environmental context. Eni's circularity is integrated into the strategies of all its business units. The goal is long-term business sustainability, which can only be achieved through full efficiency from an economic, technical-operational and environmental point of view. Eni research plays a key role with its sustainable and usable products and process innovations on an industrial scale, as can be seen from its patents.
The pillars of the circularity strategy for Eni are:
- sustainable raw materials: i.e. to work less with virgin inputs and move towards the use of materials of biological origin or those coming from production process waste;
- reuse, recycling and recovery: through processes which recover raw material from waste products and the reuse of water and land, as well as the recovery of waste;
- extending useful life: giving assets new life from a sustainable perspective.
This area includes, for example, initiatives to convert refineries into bio-refineries, which reintroduce locations and skilled workers into production processes, which would otherwise be lost from the market.