An eco-friendly growing tomato greenhouse as circular economy example

Circular Economy example in slovenia

Circular economy example in slovenia


In Slovenian tomato grower Frisko’s new greenhouse, a rainwater lagoon feeds the irrigation system that waters the plants.

Bumblebees fly around naturally pollinating, and there are no harsh weedkillers or pesticides to deter them.

The heating of the greenhouse co-generates electricity. What is more, the CO2 byproduct of the heating system is captured and, rather than being released into the atmosphere, it is pumped back into the greenhouse for the plants to convert into planet-friendly oxygen.

The greenhouse is an example of a circular economy design in action. It will produce delicious tomatoes all year round without doing any harm to the planet.

“This new greenhouse will increase our winter production by 50 per cent,” says Kristijan Magdič, director at Paradajz d.o.o. (parent company of Friško d.o.o.) and procurator at FRIŠKO d.o.o

High growth, low impact

The greenhouse project has been funded by a €3.5m loan from Intesa Sanpaolo’s Circular Economy plafond, a credit facility made available to green business initiatives.

Rather than focusing solely on crunching the financial details of a deal, when loaning from the plafond, Intesa Sanpaolo considers environmental KPIs such as renewable energy and carbon capture.

Goranka Gregorič Repnik, Intesa Sanpaolo Slovenia’s Head of SME, says:
“In this case and many other cases, as bankers we need to get a little bit in depth into the business model and understand what we will bring, what will be the benefit for the entire planet from the project.

These are the little wins in our job.”

Acceleration of systemic change

The circular economy is revolutionising all elements of industry, but the food sector is unique in its challenges and opportunities.

Massimiano Tellini, Head of Circular Economy at Intesa Sanpaolo’s Innovation Center, says: “We believe this [Frisko] is a very important transaction, I would say a sort of landmark, to be followed by others.

“We want to ensure our clients want to do business with us. But more importantly, we want to create value while creating positive impact, while innovating their way of doing business.”

As the first financial services strategic partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Intesa Sanpaolo’s goal is to launch as many projects with environmental benefits as possible.


Giuseppe Ferraro, Head of the Corporate and SME Department at Intesa Sanpaolo’s International Subsidiary Banks Division, says: “Our clients are getting more and more educated in the importance of being sustainable.

“All my colleagues in every single geography are committed and keen to do as many of these deals as possible.”

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