Mining activities deserve special attention to minimize their potential impact on biodiversity. Our raw materials come from our own sources and from third parties. Portobello-owned deposits account for 15% of extraction activities. We have laid down rules for restoring these deposits after they have been explored, respecting the natural vocation of these areas. In 2020, we promoted the environmental restoration of 90,000 square meters or 9 hectares in six different areas explored by Portobello Mining.
For example, at the Cedro mineral deposit, located in São João, in the Northeast state of Sergipe, we planted 200 native tree seedlings in 2020. To offset a hot semi-arid climate that sees no rain for the better part of the year, we have implemented a drip irrigation system that slowly and directly provides water to the plant roots. This way we can be sure that the new seedlings will receive enough water to grow and that no water will be lost through evaporation. Moreover, the soil surrounding a seedling is always kept wet, which means this system uses the least amount of water possible.
We also manage the mined materials supplied by third parties. In these cases, we adopt pre-established criteria for managing social impacts and mining permits, conducting regular audits intended to conserve biodiversity, control water quality and reduce CO2 emissions. In 2020, we evaluated all of our 16 suppliers in terms of environmental impact. None of them were shown to be performing activities that cause significant effect.
Other than extracting, we also remain vigilant as to how materials are disposed of. Ceramics are made almost entirely of earth. Therefore, if properly disposed of, they will create no impact for the environment. The right way to dispose of them is by using containers provided by qualified companies, who will then send them for recycling. Ceramics are then ground and become a material to be used in construction. Disposal instructions are detailed in the Portobello Shop Customer Manual. It is our company’s goal to increasingly share these best practices.