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Fuel switching, Brazil

About the project

The project substitutes the use of native wood from the Caatinga biome for a mix of other sustainable biomass sources to power the ceramic factory kilns, particularly algarroba wood and sawdust.


Algaroba wood is supplied by two main suppliers who buy it from several local farms (once harvested the algarroba tree is left to regenerate naturally). Sawdust is also sourced from a medium-density fibreboard factory near the project site. Other biomass residues were used in the past.


The company has a partnership with the National Service for Industrial Training (SESI/SENAI) which provides periodic training to employees including literacy classes. The factory also provides its employees with flu vaccination, subsidises a health insurance plan, basic food baskets, provides dental treatment and free transportation to the site.


The company delivers positive social impacts particularly strong in health benefits. The project partners with Agreste Region’s Children’s Cancer Institute (ICIA), providing regular support to this organisation and improving the region’s access to quality health care for children with cancer, impacting 2,000 people so far. In 2012 the factory built and now supports a rehab centre for drug users in the neighbouring community that has benefitted 100 people so far (The centre no longer exists). It also made a donation of tiles to “Criança Cidadã” Orchestra, a non-profit organization that promotes music and language classes as well as providing medical care to less fortunate children in the area.