Corporate sustainability, in addition to offering economic advantages, allows sustainable actions to contribute to environmental preservation and care for future generations.
Investing in sustainability goes beyond the care and concern for ecosystems; it is an advanced view of the business. In addition to improving the brand’s image before consumers, this strategy saves on production costs through the reuse of resources, preserves the environment and brings efficient solutions in a sustainable way.
Adopting this concept in its processes, the Brazilian core stock supplier, INCAPE, constantly works in ecologically correct projects with the purpose of providing quality in a sustainable manner to everyone directly or indirectly related to the company.
INCAPE is increasingly concerned with the balance between the environment and society, addressing important issues and actions that could help change the way people see the planet. In addition, it works towards a dignified and inclusive future so that the entire community has the chance to develop.
Among the major projects developed by INCAPE and its partners, we can highlight the initiative carried out with Indústria Bloco Cerâmica SA, which, in 2019, started to incorporate in its raw material the residue (sludge collection) that is produced in the company to be used in the brick manufacturing process.
“We know that the disposal of waste is considered an environmentally correct process by environmental agencies. Thinking about this and the great desire to end the disposal of sludge to industrial landfills, in October 2019, the environmental department of INCAPE brought changes through initiatives in favor of the development of clean technologies,” comments Ademar Bartzik, Process Supervisor at INCAPE, that has participated in the project since its implementation.
HOW DOES THE BRICK PRODUCTION PROCESS WORKS?
It all starts with the sludge that is collected at INCAPE. This sludge occurs through the generation of a waste in liquid form with a high content of suspended solids by a physical/chemical process. The liquid effluent is submitted to a process called primary treatment, which aims to remove suspended solids.
The sludge from INCAPE’s effluent treatment process is considered as “reject”, and its treatment and disposal are given by the “co-processing” process, in which the material is destined for the brick industry for inclusion in the product’s recipe.
With the process of transforming residue from sludge to tailings, INCAPE practices zero landfill for this material, transforming sludge into a raw material for manufacturing environmentally correct products for a noble destination.
Once this material goes to Indústria Bloco Cerâmica SA, the incorporation of the residue is made during the process of extracting the ore from the raw material.
“After the process of mixing the residue from the deposit, the material is transported to a factory where it enters the grinding process using a hammer mill, thus completing the complete mixing of the residue with the raw material. After completing this stage, the raw material enters the production process, going through the normal cycles for manufacturing ceramic products”, explains Edilson Nunes, director of Bloco Cerâmica.
Thus, it is possible to obtain numerous advantages with the aggregation of waste, such as:
- Reduction in part drying time before the firing process
- Reduction in product weight
- Decrease in scraps and defects
- Decrease in electricity consumption during the extrusion process
- Decrease in burning fuel
- Increased mechanical strength of the final product
- Decrease in transportation costs
Currently, the industry uses 5% of the residue in the incorporation of raw material, however, it could use up to 15%, depending on the sludge generation process.
“For INCAPE, it was a new step towards a more sustainable future, as we stopped sending a large amount of sludge to the landfill per month, reducing the probability of environmental impact and reducing disposal costs”, adds Ademar.
INCAPE believes that thinking sustainable is thinking with love and contributing to this means generating quality of life, profitability and a healthier future for everyone. This ranges from the product produced that is recycled to the waste generated within the factory, so that the company is sustainable in every way.