sustainable living3 min read

Going carbon neutral at a biomass brickyard in Soacha, Colombia

Fossil-fuel phase-out in Soacha, Columbia.

WordsMegan Lambert

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We’re determined to leave behind a legacy that built and supported communities around the world. That means having a positive impact on the home that we all share: Earth. That said, we know we still have work to do. There are some unavoidable emissions created in the manufacturing process, and we’re on a company-wide mission to try to combat those. As part of our carbon neutral certification process, we're supporting causes in keeping with our core values, in partnership with ClimatePartner. One of these is the fossil-fuel phase-out in Soacha, Colombia.

We recognise that for us to reach the global goal of 1.5 degrees, our company can do its bit to support projects that remove or reduce C02 from the atmosphere. Biogas Soacha is a renewable energy initiative using 80% renewable biogas. It’s the first project in Columbia to receive Gold Standard verification. This prevents 18,490 tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere as well as prevents the biogas from rotting and producing methane.

Nikki Buckley, Head of Sustainability at Lick

Why the move to biofuel?

Coal is cheap and plentiful in Colombia, meaning most of its brickwork factories still use such fossil fuels in their production process. These brickwork factories are an integral component of providing low-cost housing to some of Colombia’s poorest communities, however, their effect on the environment is detrimental. But a brickyard in Soacha, a suburb just outside Bogota, one of the country’s largest cities, has recently switched to energy-efficient biomass kilns. These kilns operate using 80% plant-based materials. From coconut shells, sawdust, wood chips, sugar cane, and bamboo to sustainably sourced woods, these otherwise waste products are in turn used to create heat and power the kilns.

Lick is Carbon neutral with Biomass

How the switch works 

The C02 reduction is two-fold. Not only is this a more eco-friendly alternative to coal, but no trees are cut down, no fossil fuels are burned and therefore no C02 is emitted into the atmosphere. By switching to biomass fuel, this brickyard is able to save 18,490 tons of carbon emissions each year. It’s the first project of its kind in Colombia to receive Gold standard verification and is setting the example to the other brickyards in the area.

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