The Circle: From zero impact to a positive impact

The Circle moves from zero impact to a positive impact using aquaponics to produce high-quality sustainable food

Project summary: 

The Circle is a company implementing the first commercial aquaponics operation in Italy as a sustainable and competitive development model to produce top-quality sustainable food without negatively impacting the environment. As an agricultural technique and business model, aquaponics guarantees higher yields and more rapid growth of plants under cultivation. The project involves transforming fish organic waste and ammonia into nutrients for plants through a bio-filter without using chemicals. The remaining water cleansed by the plants is then released back to the fish, saving more than 90 % of the water used within the closed system. Additionally, the company was involved in a trial to develop microalgae as a form of fish feed that would allow the system to be even more closed-loop. Having received funding from the Region Lazio RDP in 2017. The Circle installed photovoltaic panels to power the operation, which enabled the operation to become energy self-sufficient and cut its carbon dioxide emissions.

Project results: 
  • 135 litres of water saved per kg of product
  • 33,000 kg of avoided CO2 emission into the atmosphere every year
  • Double the amount of yield per hectare compared to conventional production
  • 0% input emissions
  • Zero herbicides, synthetic fertilisers and insecticides used
  • Higher yields and more rapid growth of the plants under cultivation

The Circle’s aquaponics production model is easily transferable thanks to the modular development of its production units that can be placed anywhere as it does not depend on agricultural soil. This type of system also favours the development of a network of highly specialised skilled people.