Companies can INSULATE themselves against linear risks by purchasing circular supplies, recovering resources at end of life or partnering with the public sector. 

Published: 23 May 2017

As issues like resource scarcity, pollution and commodity price volatility become increasingly material to business, leadership has an opportunity to address these challenges through the circular economy.


Due to the declines in Italian energy demand and decentralization of energy generation, ENEL is decommissioning 23 of its old thermal power plants. Decommissioning old industrial assets in the energy sector is conventionally a waste management challenge. Each decommissioned facility requires reclamation and demolition activities that comply with stringent, local regulations.

In support for its commitment to sustainable business and the circular economy, Enel established Futur-E, a public-private program that uses public tenders and idea competitions to identify long-term, sustainable, redevelopment solutions for the old plants. One of the first projects finalized within Futur-E was the transformation of the former fuel oil power plant in Augusta, Sicily to a 900 kW biomass gasification plant fueled from local biomass. Approved by an actively engaged community, the redevelopment will also include a phyto-remediation technology research center powered, heated and cooled by onsite renewable energy. Lastly, the Augusta project will divert all ashes generated from landfill by sending them to construction material manufacturers.

Stora Enso

The paper industry can recycle paper up to seven times. Stora Enso is one of the largest consumers of recycled paper in Europe, purchasing recycled paper for 26% of all fiber used in its mills. In fact, three of the company’s mills across Belgium, Germany and China use recycled paper for 100% of fiber inputs. 

Stora Enso recognizes the economic and environmental benefits of recycled paper as it improves material efficiency and contributes to corporate sustainability goals. Sourcing recycled paper requires cost-effective collection, sorting and de-inking. De-inking is a wash to remove ink from the paper, resulting in white paper pulp.

Stora Enso’s Langerbrugge Mill in Belgium produces over 500,000 tons of paper from recycled fibers per year. Beyond contributing to material efficiency, using recycled paper provides benefits like satisfying consumer preferences, diversifying fiber supply and differentiation from the competition.

Stora Enso further demonstrates its commitment to preserving natural resources and sustainable forest management by using 97% of the generated residuals and waste. For instance, production residuals and waste have gone into agriculture, brick manufacturing, road construction and bioenergy production.