La sostenibilità guida il nostro stile di business

WHO INVENTED CIRCULAR ECONOMY?

We have been talking about circular economy for many years, as a virtuous model of production and consumption, in opposition to linear economy, which is based on the principle of “extracting, producing, using, and throwing away”. We all agree on the urgency of reducing raw material consumption and of inverting a process that showed all its criticality with its very damaging effects on the environment.

However, who invented circular economy? We carried out a little study as to satisfy our curiosity; unexpectedly, we have traced its origin back to 1966, when economist Kenneth E. Boulding published his article “The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth”. Ten years later, Walter Stahel and Genevieve Reday introduced their report “The Potential for Substituting Manpower for Energy” to the European Commission. For the first time ever, they spoke about the basics of circular economy and their impact on economic system, from the creation of new jobs to the saving of production costs, as well as the control of the creation of new waste (source: Esg360[1]).

Therefore, the father of circular economy is Walter Stahel, a Swiss architect and applied economics researcher, and author of various academic publications on environmental sustainability. His research has led us into the 3Rs[2] era, which, today, should represent more and more a life model for everyone, from single consumers to enterprises.

We also respect this commitment in our small reality, with our daily activities of waste sorting and recycling, with a bigger usage of “second life” materials, which contribute to reduce the consumption of raw materials. For example, in order to dispose of our printing inks, we have adopted a system called Chemical Regeneration, based on the principle of chemicals separation – which will be reused or recycled. 

Basically, this process consists of solvent extraction, its distillation and purification, and its consequent reuse. As a result, the oily deposit – which is the residual waste – is truly minimal and a specialised company disposes of it. This way, we reduce our necessity to employ fresh solvents, decreasing the environmental impact connected to their production.

By doing this, we respect the 3Rs in a single process, by reducing, reusing, and recycling. This is something that we have been doing for more than 20 years – and, recently it is spreading more and more, thanks to a greater sensitivity of companies towards the environment.


[1] Italian website dedicated to Environmental, Social, Governance issues.

[2] Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling.