“From nature to nature.” If it didn't happen to be the Il Truciolo Group motto, it could easily be the motto for the entire circular economy itself. Recovering waste materials and giving them a new life is this Group's mission. Il Truciolo (the name means wood shavings or chips in Italian) was established in 1989 and now a leader in the sector for transforming non-hazardous industrial waste and wood. Its products include wood chip blends supplied to companies that produce pre-finished panels: the 'used' wood is sorted and separated, shredded, washed and then completely recovered. This precious natural raw material therefore gets a new life, in the same way that the circular economy can give all materials new life via virtuous, environmentally friendly production processes. In addition, Il Truciolo also processes industrial waste which, once it's been carefully sorted, shredded and blended, is utilized for energy recovery in cement factories and waste-to-energy plants in the form of a secondary solid fuel.
Basically, circularity is written in Il Truciolo’s DNA. The company operates throughout Italy from its headquarters in Albavilla, near Como, and counts a number of large furniture and cement production companies among its clients. Innovation also plays a key role within the Group and it's precisely for this reason, i.e. so as to constantly evolve and identify new opportunities for improving the circularity of its processes, that Il Truciolo commissioned Enel X to produce a Circular Economy Report on its business. This independent report is capable of assessing how well-established and prevalent the circular economy concept is along the entire value chain.
“We've initiated a process for evaluating our company - explains Carlo Cattaneo, the CEO of the Il Truciolo Group, which is also certified in accordance with the exacting ISO 14001:15 and ISO 9001:15 standards - in order to understand where we can improve and to assess possible new ideas for increasing the circularity of our production.”
The report provided an outline of the present situation through a company assessment which identified the production model's strengths and weaknesses, while simultaneously turning a spotlight on the future by pinpointing possible improvements and suggesting new opportunities and solutions. Starting with an overall evaluation of the company (a Corporate Circular Economy Assessment), the Circular Economy Report measured the current level of circularity, assigning Il Truciolo a score of 35.9 out of 100.
“Circularity is a natural element of our business - Cattaneo adds - We naturally found ourselves operating within the circular economy, almost by chance you could say, because when we entered the non-hazardous waste recycling sector this expression didn't even exist.” No surprise, therefore, that their current score was so high, but it wasn't enough to stop the Enel X experts from identifying a package of possible measures for further improving the company's level of circularity.
Naturally, according to the Circular Economy Report, the main strength was the collection and recycling of waste, but it didn't end there: indeed, the entire corporate strategy is based on the principles of reuse, recycling and extending the useful life of products and, generally speaking, paying close attention to their overall impact. For example, this is particularly evident from an energy standpoint, where the report couldn't fail to observe that the company's consumption is partially provided by its own independent photovoltaic system, which generates 17% of its energy requirements.
“The results provided by the Enel X report are already quite good, but there's always room for improvement. - Cattaneo says - Beyond the core elements of our business, which are obviously already highly circular by their very nature, we've always looked to equip ourselves in a way that's consistent with our characteristics, for example we have a 0.5 MW photovoltaic system and we constantly inspect our equipment and facilities to ensure they're operating optimally. The areas for improvement for us are therefore substantially lessened. One of the major issues to emerge was that to improve further we should have a charging station for electric vehicles. This improvement isn’t strictly linked to the business, which tells us that we're already at a good level of circularity, but obviously installing an electric vehicle charging station would enable us to add electric vehicles to our company fleet."
Enel X's Circular Economy Report assigned an excellent current score (96.6%) for energy circularity. This is thanks to a number of measures which include the continuous monitoring of energy consumption throughout virtually the entire company (up to 95%) via specific meters, the extremely high use of LED lighting (95%) and the installation of double-glazed windows throughout. Furthermore, all of the Group's equipment and systems (lighting, as well as heating and cooling), have undergone energy performance certification and have been inspected and serviced within the last six months.
But when a company is already so virtuous and focused on its circularity, what's the point of an independent report such as that provided by Enel X? “Having an independent assessment of the business is invaluable. Sometimes you're so focused on what you're doing that you don't notice the potential opportunities for improvement, and having a competent, external assessor take a look can be very useful. I would certainly advise other companies to request a Circular Economy Report from Enel X. These days it's often the larger companies that are more conscious of the importance of such objectives, whereas small-medium sized companies sometimes struggle to understand how to 'close the circle' and what the benefits, both financial and reputational, might be of adopting such an approach. Modernization is sometimes costly, but once you've identified the areas where improvements can be made, it's possible to get great satisfaction from doing so.”
As previously mentioned, the advice provided to Il Truciolo by Enel X included creating the basis for a cleaner company vehicle fleet, composed, in part at least, by shared electric vehicles. To this end, installing a charging station is fundamental for creating the foundations for this small transport revolution: indeed, how can you consider going electric or adding a number of clean vehicles to the fleet without having the necessary infrastructure?
Although this wasn't initially part of the company's intentions, the Circular Economy Report, together with the data it presents, has given the company a new perspective to consider: “We'll take these suggestions on board - declares Cattaneo - and we'll add them to our integrated environmental and quality management system's improvement objectives: achieving ever higher levels of circularity and respect for the environment has always been one of our principal aims.”