Green porcelain tiles
CERAMICHE REFIN: AN ECO-COMPATIBLE CHOICE
The pledge to protect the environment, which is the legacy we leave future generations, is one of the fundamental values underpinning Ceramiche Refin.
Refin’s green philosophy is expressed through the ongoing search for new opportunities created by technological innovations to make the industrial production process increasingly safer and more environment-friendly to offer eco-sustainable products.
A PRODUCTION CYCLE WITH A REDUCED ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT
Refin has always recycled in its production cycle:
— 100% of production waters, thereby optimising its use of water resources
— 100% of waste material, which is recycled in-house or disposed of externally for recovery by third-party bodies
Moreover, in the last decade, the company has started up a process of renovating and optimising the production phases through the installation of latest-generation systems to protect resources and the environment even further.
The transformation process the company has undergone has made it possible to optimise the performance levels of the industrial process in terms of energy and raw material consumption, production output and processing waste production.
Here are some of the most significant plant engineering modifications:
- photovoltaic system to cover the finished product warehouse, which generates electricity that is used to meet the needs of the office headquarters
- recovery system for the heat generated by the kilns so that it can be re-used in the production cycle, allowing an annual methane gas saving comparable to the consumption of more than 1,500 cars
- co-generation system to generate electricity to cover the needs of the utilities and the thermal energy necessary for the spray-dried body preparation phases
These changes have made it possible to reduce the environmental footprint and at the same time increase the production, while reducing emission levels and containing the consumption of energy and water resources despite the ongoing expansion of production.
PORCELAIN TILES: A SAFE, ECO-SUSTAINABLE MATERIAL
Compared with other materials used in construction and architecture, ceramic is in itself a sustainable and safe choice because:
- it stems from a mix of natural raw materials commonly found in nature, prevalently sands and clays, the extraction of which respects the environment;
- it is a 100% recyclable material which can be disposed of with no risk to the environment;
- it is by nature inert and does not emit any VOCs (volatile organic compounds) even when exposed to high temperatures or direct sunlight;
- it does not contain toxic substances such as phthalates, formaldehyde, solvents, softeners or other chemical additives;
- owing to its outstanding thermal conductivity, it allows energy savings when applied with underfloor or wall-mounted heating systems
- the packs are produced using recycled material and they are 100% recyclable
Refin’s green philosophy and the eco-sustainable aspects of its products and production process have enabled the company over the years to achieve prestigious environmental certifications at international level:
- EPD – Environmental Product Declaration: a voluntary environmental product declaration which certifies the environmental footprint of the product life cycle according to the “from cradle to gate” approach
- PEF – Product Environmental Footprint: a certification relating to the determination of the potential environmental footprint of products during their life cycle. The certificate certifies the validity of the information about the environmental performance of Refin products and conformity to PEF methodologies
- LEED COMPLIANT PRODUCTS: a certification relating to the credits which can be obtained for the certification of eco-sustainable buildings — LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — owing to the use of Refin tiles and in particular to those made with recycled material.
- HPD – Health Product Declaration: a declaration that constitutes the safety data sheet of the material and certifies that it does not contain toxic or hazardous substances
- FDES – Fiche de Déclaration Environmentale et Sanitaire: an environmental declaration that is specific to the French market and certifies the suitability of the material for the construction of green buildings
To bear witness to the sensitivity that the company has always shown towards environmental and sustainability topics, we would like to point out that as early as 2009 Refin won the important “Premio all’Innovazione Amica dell’Ambiente” (Environment-Friendly Innovation Award) promoted by Legambiente and the Lombardy region and awarded for the project Glass Plus, which involved the use in the ceramic body of recycled glass obtained from the recycling of old decommissioned TVs and monitors with cathode-ray tubes.