The circular economy as a key for competitivity

The economic and industrial fabric of Italy needs to change its ways if it is going to be competitive and resilient.

The Circular Economy is replacing the “linear” type of economy based on a model of “production-consumption-waste” and represents a new economic paradigm which aims to preserve the value of products and services over time and to de-couple the development of business and the territory from the consumption of natural finite resources. 

It stands in contrast to the linear economy offering tools to face climate change and the loss of biodiversity, responding at the same time to important social needs. A circular economy is based on three principles: the elimination of waste and pollution, the continuing circulation of products and materials, the regeneration of natural capital. 

This approach favors the full integration of sustainability and creates shared value for the whole of society. 

Gruppo Intesa Sanpaolo, via Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center recognized the strategic potential of this new model and since 2016 has been a Strategic Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the most authoritative international player in this field. Thanks to the partnership, the Bank, via Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, makes active contributions to the main national and international working tables on the circular economy, working together with the most important institutions and stakeholders. 

The advantages of the circular economy for companies

Greater effectiveness 

in the use of natural resources and energy, with economic savings on consumption and procurement

New potential revenue

arising from opportunities of symbiosis and partnerships with the supply chain, from an open innovation perspective 

competitivity in the medium-long term

anticipating customer choices and regulatory trends (de-risking effect) 

Greater awareness

with clients, shareholders, investors, partners, suppliers, distributors, etc 

Reduction of enviromental impacts

and efficiency of business processes (lower costs for possible legal risks)

The partnership between Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center and Cariplo Factory led to the creation of the Circular Economy Lab which, with its wealth of know-how and competences, aims to contribute to the dissemination of the principles and methods of the circular economy both via educational initiatives and creating opportunities for the innovative ecosystem players to network. 
The Circular Economy Lab supports companies in the transition towards circular economy business models, guiding innovation with a systemic approach: to do so, an advisory proposal has been designed which is able to respond to the main needs of business. 

The sectors where we operate

Application of circular economy models along the phases of the value chain.


Implementation of circular processes in polymer treatment processes.


Adoption of circular economy logics in the mobility of goods and people.


Development of circular economy logics in construction.


Application of circular economy models along the phases of the value chain.


Adoption of circular principles in energy transition processes.

Our advisory solutions


Circular Workshop

Introductory Workshop to Open Innovation and the Circular Economy and to onboarding internal resources or management on these topics, with analysis of the company value chain.


Circularity Assessment

Measurement of the degree of circularity achieved by the company along its value chain, in order to have a greater awareness of the stage reached in circular transformation and the identification of action points.


Circular Open Innovation

Assistance for companies in the transition towards a Circular Economy model thanks to scouting, selection and matching of the client with innovative Circular Economy solutions (startups and/or technologies).


Circular Project Building

Co-Design of new business initiatives or new processes through the development of circular products and/or business models for the client. The aim is to support companies in the conception, development and implementation of new business models.


Supply Chain Engagement

The project actively involves the company’s value chain which, aware that circular transformation is enabled by the production chain, enlists suppliers and clients in the design of a joint transformation of the chain.


Circularity Plan

A guided journey involving the company management and stakeholders in the identification of measurable and monitorable circular transformation targets and in the creation of an action plan for their implementation.

Our educational solutions

The Circular Economy Lab develops innovative educational tracks designed for companies and aimed at supporting their programs to update company culture.
The aim is to provide client companies with Advanced Education courses in cooperation with top Italian universities, on-demand training services on digital platforms and customized tracks alongside.  

Our circular connection Solutions

The organization of high level events, webinars and meetings dedicated to promoting the transition towards circular economy models in specific sectors with a view to creating opportunities for dialog and networking on the Circular Economy. 

To learn more about the services of the CIRCULAR ECONOMY LAB

Circular Economy Lab is an innovation initiative that arises from the partnership with