Enel X Circular Economy Report for MEHITS

MEHITS – the road to circularity

Enel X uses its Circular Economy Report to help companies improve their circularity: introducing the Mitsubishi Electric Hydronics & IT Cooling Systems story

The ability to reconcile innovation and respect for the environment has resulted in its extremely energy efficient air- conditioning systems being chosen for some of the world’s most iconic buildings, from Studio Boeri’s Vertical Wood in Milan to Zaha Hadid’s Gran Théatre in Rabat. Sustainability has, in fact, always played a central role in the Mitsubishi Electric Hydronics & IT Cooling Systems (MEHITS) business model. The company, which is based in Bassano del Grappa (in the Veneto region, in northeastern Italy), has been in business since 1963 under the RC and Climaveneta brands, specialising in hydronic systems for air-conditioning and IT Cooling systems for hospitals, offices, shopping malls and industrial complexes. Its commitment to sustainability has, however, accelerated in recent years.

“In its Environmental Sustainability Vision 2050 document, Mitsubishi Electric laid down the guidelines for the Group’s companies to reach very precise decarbonization targets by 2030 and 2050,” explains Francesco Marella, MEHITS’s Head of Environment, Safety & Health. As a result of these targets, the firm called in Enel X to assess its level of corporate circularity and find ways of improving it.

Meeting the Enel X Circular Economy Report

Enel X’s Circular Economy Report is a leading-edge analytic tool for businesses. The compilation process starts with assessing the company as a whole (Corporate Circular Economy Assessment) and by specific site (Site Circular Economy Assessment). This will indicate the business’s starting level of circularity on a scale of zero to 100, highlighting its strengths and the actions to be implemented. A road map of innovative solutions (Energy Circular Economy Roadmap) is then drawn up on the basis of the result in order to improve the initial score. Lastly, an analysis (Energy Circular Economy Sensitivity Assessment) is made which, depending on the solutions adopted, will calculate the potential increase in its circularity score.

The first stage was the Corporate Circular Economy Assessment, a qualitative analysis that evaluated MEHITS’s level of circularity along its entire value chain: design, procurement, production, logistics, distribution, sales, post-consumption. Enel X drew up a score for each area, the average of which provided a starting Corporate Circular Economy score of 44.3% which revealed good circular economy management, from product design onwards. “We work to order,” explains Marella. “So our design is very modular, and, as a result, very sustainable, which means our product is more eco-friendly, consumes less and can easily be repaired and updated to suit the client’s requirements – for instance, using more efficient and better soundproofed components.”


A tool to help improve company processes

MEHITS was then assessed in the light of the circular economy’s five business models. This revealed a good level of implementation of the sustainable input model (95% of the materials come from renewable sources and the company is committed to reducing CO2 emissions through the use of clean energy), of product life cycle extension (thanks to modularity) and end-of-life management (95% of products are recyclable). It also emerged that the company is committed to delivering on nine of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The Enel X assessment,” says Marella, “helped us to establish which in-house processes are sustainable and which are not. In procurement, for instance, we found it useful to know that our purchasing policies could be improved if we asked our supply chain where the materials they use come from. We also realized that it is not just the product itself that[4]  can be more or less sustainable, but also the sales model, and that pay per use models, such as product as a service, are the future. That realization made the experience extremely stimulating and constructive.”

The second phase involved actually applying the Site Energy Circular Economy Assessment to the Bassano del Grappa facility. The latter quantitative analysis provided a detailed evaluation of the current energy efficiency level, incidence of renewable energies, energy management and the presence of circular economy enablers. The assessment highlighted a significant level of energy circularity with an average starting score of 29.7%, linked mainly to the use of energy from renewable sources and a high standard of efficiency in the electronic equipment in the offices.

However, Enel X also has a complete range of solutions to help clients improve their circularity. These cover everything from consultancy to distributed generation, flexibility and electric mobility. Enel X wants to use its Circular Economy Report, which is validated and certified by a third party, RINA (a national certification body), to put businesses in a position to make the very most of all of the potential benefits of the circular economy. These include improved energy efficiency, reduced costs, higher revenues, and even improved perception by the market, which is increasingly sensitive to sustainability issues.

In the third phase of the assessment, Enel X provided MEHITS with a Energy Circular Economy Roadmap which, through the adoption of a series of innovative energy solutions, could lower its CO2 emissions to just 90 tonnes a year. Lastly, in the Energy Circular Economy Sensitivity Assessment, Enel X’s experts calculated that, depending on the solutions it adopts, MEHITS could potentially increase its Corporate Circular Economy Score to 47.6% and its Site Energy Circular Economy Score to 61.5%.

“We are thinking of following some of the suggestions made in the Report in the future. It is an experience I would recommend,” concluded Marella. “Enel X helped us to pinpoint our consumption and waste levels in the Bassano facility, and which alternatives we could adopt and where. But the corporate assessment made the biggest difference as it helped us realize that we can improve certain organizational processes and that it is possible to imagine a slightly different company, not just by reducing waste or improving the factories, but by creating an in-house circularity culture that Enel X can help us foster.”

This is a great example of how the Report can help improve the circularity of companies like MEHITS that have already been investing in sustainability for some time.

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