One of the goals of the European Union is to succeed in transitioning from a linear economy, based on extracting, producing, consuming, and disposing, towards a circular economy. In addition to the environmental benefits, up to 400,000 new jobs could be created and companies would save 600 billion euros per year.
Moving towards a circular economy is also a priority for Repsol, as established in the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan. This is why, in our business areas, we seek opportunities to evolve towards a new production model that promotes the reduction of waste generated in production processes, decreasing the consumption of virgin raw materials, and extending the life cycle of products.
To do so, our business units work jointly with the research center, the Repsol Technology Lab, on new technological developments, in addition to the Corporate Venturing area, to identify opportunities of a circular nature. Furthermore, we will promote the collaborative economy among the different businesses of the company and with third parties.
We currently have an external network with over 350 contacts we have already evaluated over 85 initiatives with. With many of these contacts we work on circular projects implemented in the organization.
We also participate in over ten national and international working groups on the circular economy.
Circular economy projects
The Catalog of Circular Initiatives already boasts over 120 initiatives. There are 78 already underway in 12 businesses and corporate areas. For instance, the areas of Chemicals, Refining, Corporate Venturing, and Technology are working on the ZERO project which uses the chemical recycling of plastic waste to obtain synthetic crude, effectively closing the life cycle of these materials while shifting, at the same time, the consumption of fossil-based raw materials.
We have joined the “Plastics 2030” Voluntary Commitment launched by the PlasticsEurope manufacturers' association, with the objective that 60% of plastics packaging sold in the European Union be recyclable or reusable by 2030. The circular economy is also present in our customers' homes: the seals on the company's butane containers are made from plastic waste in the chemical plant in Tarragona.
Another example can be found in mobility, through the WiBLE initiative, which is part of so-called consumption patterns. We have also developed, along with the Sacyr construction company, 100% recyclable asphalts, a technology that allows for reusing all the old asphalt from roads.