Project portfolio

Swiss Climate's portfolio of climate projects includes diverse areas of climate protection in different regions (Switzerland and internationally): renewable energy production, reforestation and forest protection, distribution of cookers at household level, biomass projects or methane prevention.  All projects meet our high quality criteria. In addition, our projects have different additional effects on other sustainability goals (SDGs). We would also be happy to refer you to other climate protection projects outside the portfolio, which are ideally tailored to your needs.

angle-left Switching to renewable biomass to protect the Brazilian rainforests

Switching to renewable biomass to protect the Brazilian rainforests

The project is ensuring a sustainable energy supply for ceramics businesses in Brazil, thereby protecting both the climate and the rich biodiversity of the Brazilian rainforests.

Project standard: VCS, Social Carbon

Project Description

Before the project, the ceramics factory in northeastern Brazil covered its energy requirements with wood from the surrounding rainforests of the Caatinga biome. This unsustainable process generated high levels of CO2 emissions.

The large-scale deforestation also threatened the local biodiversity, which is particularly rich in the rainforests of Brazil.

However, a few obstacles stood in the way of making the energy supply more sustainable for the ceramics factory: in order to use the renewable biomass for energy provision, new production processes were needed, which in turn called for significant investment.

Thanks to the project contributions, it was possible to make the necessary investments and replace the non-renewable biomass with sustainable biomass. Instead of wood from the rainforests, the factory now has access to an abundance of biomass that would otherwise remain unused. This includes cashew and coconut shells, as well as wood from sustainable forest crops.

The project has already protected 210 hectares of valuable woodland in the Amazon biome from deforestation and preserved the habitats of numerous endangered species.

Social and economic Benefits

  • The project has led to the creation of new jobs, particularly for women.
  • As part of a special programme, the 56 employees are taught about the importance of health & safety and are given training to improve in this area.
  • A newly installed machine feeds the biomass directly into the kiln and thereby prevents the workers from being directly exposed to the heat.
  • In addition, the project is creating new markets and greater demand for local biomass suppliers.
  • The money from the sale of CO2 certificates is being used to support a cancer and education centre in Ceará.
  • To improve the health of employees and promote physical activity, facilities for regular football matches have been created.
  • The ceramics factory won the 2012 SESI Award for workplace quality in the ‘Socio-Ecological Development – Micro/Small Enterprise’ category.

Environmental aspects

  • Halting the deforestation protects many native, rare species of animals and plants.
  • A partnership programme with Brazil’s environmental agency is enabling the reintroduction of endangered native species that have been driven from the rainforests by illegal activities.
  • Regular air quality assessments ensure that emissions of air pollutants and rust particles are not too high. In addition, filters have been installed to reduce air pollution.
  • A sustainable forestry management concept has been introduced in the surrounding forests.