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Why Sustainable Manufacturing in Brazil is Benefiting from the Global Housing Boom

Latin America’s largest economy is showing no signs of stopping, with growth projected to hit 3.7% by the end of 2021. A global housing boom has led to a drastic uptake in demand for ceramics, one of Brazil’s top exports. But seismic growth in manufacturing doesn’t have to mean irreversible environmental damage. So, what is one the world’s largest economies doing to protect its crucial landscape, powerful natural resources, and the planet at large?

Brazil is committed to ceramic sustainability

With a vast landscape made up of rich, colorful and unique minerals and stones, 60 companies in Brazil were able to manufacture 795 square meters of ceramics last year alone, making them the third largest producer in the world. And demand is only climbing. A global housing boom is well underway, as more homes are springing up to meet growing populations and existing properties are undergoing renovation. In the United States alone, home sales were 22% stronger in 2020 than the previous year, the highest on record in 14 years.

But how are Brazil’s 60 ceramics manufacturers able to grow so rapidly while lowering carbon emissions? And is it possible to manage ceramic manufacturing in an environmentally conscious way? The simple answer is yes.

In Brazil, 70% of ceramic tiles are produced using the dry route, which uses 74% less water than the traditional and more environmentally costly wet route. Brazil’s rapid adoption of the modern route of ceramic production, known as dry production, means that significantly less thermal energy is required – and consequently, a staggering 72% less carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Rapid growth in manufacturing doesn’t need to cost the earth – and Brazil is sending a strong signal that it takes its mission to protect the environment seriously.

Currently, the ceramics industry in Brazil consumes 30% less water compared to other countries. It also emits 15% less greenhouse gases than industries elsewhere around the world.

Mauricio Borges, CEO of Anfacer, the Brazilian Association of Manufacturers of Ceramic Tiles, Sanitary Ware, and Related Products.

Putting the values of preservation and conservation on the map

At this year’s COP26 in Scotland, Brazil participated under the message of “Green Economy. It’s our goal. It’s how we play.” It states that Brazilian companies will rely on three core attributes to work toward a common good and more sustainable future: efficiency, technology, and principles.

APEX-Brazil, the Brazilian trade and investment body, showcased good news and success stories from 10 key businesses who have brought the sustainability ethos to life with its support.

As an increasingly vital asset to the rest of the world, Brazil’s role in sustainability can’t be understated. What happens in this country could have ramifications for the entire globe. As certain industries have already benefited from lower carbon intensive practices, the trajectory must be kept up to help manage the threat of global heating.