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Creativity and innovation - the Italian path to circular economy

Events related with G7 Environment†touch core topics with the† conference organised by Hera on circular economy†in its Bologna offices. The initiative offers the opportunity to present the sustainability report of the multi-utility company, and witnessed the presence, among others, of the† Minister for the Environment, Gian Luca Galletti. He pointed out the central role played by circular economy in the framework of the 4th industrial revolution we are experiencing, underscoring the important progress made by regional administrations, such as Emilia-Romagna. Many leading figures from the business world, institutions and research bodies attended the event organised by Hera today to discuss the transition towards increasingly sustainable development models. Key participants included† Enrico Giovannini, Professor of Economic Statistics at the University of Rome;† Oscar Farinetti, creator and founder of Eataly;† Catia Bastioli, CEO of Novamont S.p.A., and† Carlo Ratti, Director at the MIT of Senseable City Lab, just to mention a few. They were preceded†by Ellen MacArthurís presentation, who is also known for the namesake foundation, which is the most active and important organisation in the world on the scene of circular economy. "Carbon resources will be depleted over a period of 100 years", said Ms MacArthur, "but saving resources will not suffice. We can adopt it to gain time for the transition from linear economy to circular economy that severs the link between scarce resources and our growth prospects by focusing on innovation, education, training and new generations."

Moreover, "Innovation" and "creativity" are the key words of the conference organised by Hera that, through its senior management, spoke about its commitment for sustainability, showing that the Group is strongly committed to 10 of the 17 goals on the UNís Agenda for 2030.

The new version of the sustainability report particularly accounts for the "shared value", namely wealth generated by Hera in pursuing the goals of the Global Agenda. Equal to 1/3 of the overall gross operating margin, the shared value of the multi-utility company amounts to† 300 million euro for 2016. Said amount was obtained by focusing on three strategic sectors, namely the intelligent use of energy (with 48 million euro generated by promoting energy efficiency, and 29 million euro by making greater use of renewable energy); the efficient use of resources (with 110 million euro obtained by pursuing the transition to a circular economy, and 83 million euro obtained through sustainable management of water resources); innovation and development in the local area (with 18 million euro resulting from innovative projects and digitalisation, 11 million euro for the protection of air and soil, and 35 million euro for the economic development of local communities and social inclusion projects).

"These moments of discussion are very important", says Tomaso Tommasi di Vignano, Hera Groupís Executive Chairman, because they confirm the international framework of the† excellent results achieved by Hera in terms of development of circular economy. Tommasi goes on to say, "What is at stake is the acceleration of a transition that requires everybodyís contribution, with special reference to the need for a stable and more homogeneous regulatory framework that can encourage planning, investments and consolidation processes, which are essential, in the long term, for sustainable and lasting growth".

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