Casalgrande Padana’s environmental policy for sustainable production

April 7, 2022

Die Umweltpolitik von Casalgrande Padana für eine nachhaltige Produktion

Casalgrande Padana’s production process has always been about meeting ever-higher quality standards through applied research and cutting-edge technology while adhering to the most stringent environmental standards.

This “total quality” philosophy is pursued through cutting-edge anti-pollution equipment that allows for recycling and reusing all production components. In addition, all production stages – selection and storage of raw materials, grinding, formation, and firing of the ceramic tiles – are continuously monitored.

Casalgrande Padana is always there, from when a product is developed to when it’s used in the construction world through continuous monitoring, strict quality control, punctual technical information, and effective support for designers and architects.

Casalgrande Padana - production plant

Casalgrande Padana’s sustainability goals aligned with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The 2030 Agenda has been adopted by 193 UN member countries. It is the most complete global policy focusing on sustainable economic, social and environmental development and consists of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets to be achieved by 2030. Casalgrande Padana, and the Italian ceramic industry in general, has integrated nine of the seventeen goals into its corporate philosophy. Goals 8 (decent work and economic growth), 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), and 12 (responsible consumption and production) emerge as the primary ones to ensure sustainable production and consumption.

Porcelain stoneware is an environmentally friendly material

Using Casalgrande Padana porcelain stoneware tiles in modern architecture means choosing a noble, natural, high-performance material. In fact, porcelain stoneware is hypoallergenic, antibacterial, odourless, and doesn’t retain dirt. It’s also fire-resistant, long-lasting, easy to clean, and withstands chemical and mechanical stress. Moreover, it’s fully recyclable, doesn’t contain plastic, and is made with production processes that help protect both the environment and human health.

Self-produced energy and optimised resources

Casalgrande Padana has created an EPD (Environmental Product Declaration), an independently verified and registered document that communicates transparent information about the life-cycle environmental impact of products in compliance with ISO 14025.

Casalgrande Padana’s production process relies on state-of-the-art systems that allow for recycling and reusing every component while keeping emissions and dispersions well below the authorised thresholds. In addition, the company has been implementing the EMAS certification since 2003, demonstrating its effort to abide by all environmental standards.

All this has led to the definition of sustainable and environmentally conscious plans that allow Casalgrande Padana to meet the competent authorities’ provisions. And the 20,300 t of recovered raw materials, 77% of self-produced energy from cogeneration and photovoltaic systems, 100% water impact reduction thanks to wastewater recovery during the production process, and 99.5% of waste collected separately prove it.

Casalgrande Padana is also committed to reducing and optimising energy consumption. Kilns now run on natural gas and no longer on fossil fuels. Moreover, all the spaces are heated by systems that recover heat from the kilns through air-to-air heat exchangers (production plants) and air-to-water heat exchangers (offices and locker rooms). Natural gas cogeneration systems and photovoltaic systems have also allowed Casalgrande Padana to self-produce 78% of its energy. In particular, the cogeneration systems are equipped with a gas turbine associated with an atomiser. These systems produce electricity for the production plant. They also recover the hot air generated by the turbine, which is used for spray drying the slip (the viscous liquid mixture of water and clay). The synergy between the gas turbine and atomiser allows for exploiting the system’s full energy potential, which is for 20-25% electricity and 75-80% thermal energy that, otherwise, would be lost. This way, all the electricity and thermal energy produced can be used, achieving yields close to 100%. That’s quite impressive if you consider that the yield of traditional turbine systems is about 30%.

By self-producing its energy, the Casalgrande Padana production plant has gone from being a user to being a self-producer, demonstrating how its policy and investments have always focused on sustainable development.

Casalgrande Padana - production plant

Certified bioactive and eco-compatible ceramic tiles

Many years of experience, research, and product innovation have allowed Casalgrande Padana and its Research Centre to gain a wealth of knowledge. That’s how it became a leading company in the ceramic market for architecture already twenty years ago. Furthermore, this know-how and philosophy have allowed Casalgrande Padana to explore new possibilities in bioactive ceramics and experiment with state-of-the-art technological solutions in partnership with major international players. One example is Japan’s TOTO group, a world-leading manufacturer of sanitary fittings and pioneer of the Hydrotect® photocatalytic technology.

Casalgrande Padana is always promoting research projects in collaboration with external research centres and various Italian universities, particularly with the Department of Biomedical Science (Medical Microbiology) of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and the Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology of the University of Bologna. This continuous commitment to research and sustainability and partnerships with universities have led to the development of Bios Ceramics, an exclusive and the most advanced generation of bioactive ceramic tiles for architectural applications. These tiles stand out for the certified and eco-compatible Bios Antibacterial® and Bios Self-Cleaning® treatments, which provide them with antibacterial, self-cleaning, and pollutant-reducing properties.

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