Intesa Sanpaolo and Fondazione Cariplo, an Italian philanthropic organisation, have this week launched the first Italian Circular Economy Lab. The CE Lab, located at the headquarters of the former Cariplo Factory in Milan, is dedicated to promoting open innovation and young entrepreneurs, and exists 'to support and guide the transformation of the Italian economic system'.
The opening of the CE Lab also saw the Intesa Sanpaolo Group announce a 5 billion Euro credit facility to support businesses adopting circular business models. A team from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation worked with Intesa Sanpaolo to define the selection criteria for access to the credit facility.
Intesa Sanpaolo became the Foundation's sole Global Partner from the financial sector, in 2015. At the launch of the CE Lab, the Italian bank also announced its support for the Foundation's Cities and the Circular Economy for Food project, for which it becomes Lead Partner.
Speaking at the launch event, Ellen MacArthur said: "Supporting new and evolving businesses to adopt circular economy models is key to accelerating the transition to a regenerative and restorative economy. Intesa Sanpaolo’s commitment to developing a circular economy ecosystem in Italy, through setting up the CE Lab and investing in organisations that are implementing circular approaches, is an important contribution towards creating an economy that can work in the long term.”