01 Dec THE TILE, SUSTAINABLE AND PLASTIC FREE MATERIAL
COP25 CLIMATE SUMMIT
More than 25,000 representatives from 200 countries meet in Madrid, at IFEMA, at the Climate Summit from December 2 to 13 to reach agreements and commitments between nations to combat the effects of climate change.
The Spanish ceramic tile sector has turned in recent years to improve the environmental impact of its production processes and its own ceramic products.
ASCER has presented the Sector Environmental Product Declaration (DAP), registered under the AENOR GlobalEPD system. The Institute of Ceramic Technology (ITC), with whom ASCER collaborates closely, has developed the technical work to create this ecological label for Spanish ceramic tile. This label allows to evaluate the Life Cycle of the products and their impact on the environment. Spanish ceramics are exported in 75% of their annual sales, so it is noteworthy that this Declaration is an internationally recognized badge, allowing comparisons between different producing countries.
The Spanish industry has made great efforts and investments to reduce its emissions in production, reduce the consumption of water and resources, promoting the circular economy, and be more energy efficient. To this end, in recent years it has been innovated and invested heavily in the production processes to optimize the cooking process of the tiles; introduce waste replacing virgin raw material; Cogeneration technology has been used to take advantage of the efficiency of generating both heat and electricity, which are subsequently used in factories; and it is beginning to have renewable sources for certain parts of the production.
It is also because of its nature a sector that can value almost 100% of the waste generated in its production process, and this efficient management also allows it to be a sector that does not generate any type of wastewater, which is known as “ zero discharge ”. Thanks to this research and investment effort, the Spanish tile sector manages to internally recycle up to 1,200,000 tons of waste per year, thus reducing the need for raw materials, and thus favoring a circular economy.
On the other hand, the commitment to R&D in sustainability is not only in the processes but also in the products themselves, in fact, a large number of ASCER companies offer versatile products that go beyond mere decoration and respond to constructive needs that provide sustainability to the building.
The thermal conduction capacity of the ceramic is being used for the installation of radiant heating systems that reduce the energy cost in the home’s air conditioning thanks to the thermal inertia of the material. The characteristics of the ceramic make it possible to improve the performance of ventilated facades, thanks to its ability to insulate from water and outside temperature, facilitating energy savings. In addition, the new anchoring systems and their multiple possibilities (colors, finishes, formats …) make ceramic ventilated facades a widely used solution in sustainable building.
Ceramic sheets capable of “decontaminating” the air of our cities of harmful particles of nitrogen oxide (NOx) are already being commercialized in Spain for the facades of new constructions and even self-cleaning surfaces with ceramics have been developed that contribute to a marked reduction the consumption of water and detergents necessary for conservation and cleaning. All this thanks to nanoparticles that give the tile a photocatalytic effect, that is to say, that reacts with the ultraviolet radiation of the Sun, producing an oxidation that destroys the organic matter in contact with the surface.
The use of ceramic tile goes beyond and is located in urban spaces, where in locations such as Benicàssim work is being done on the installation of permeable pavements with a ceramic drainage system that reuses stored products of low commercial value. It is thus possible to avoid urban flooding and store rainwater to be used as irrigation water.