Managing energy consumption is fundamental for our company’s sustainability, since the ceramics industry works with thermal processes. At both manufacturing facilities, heat process efficiency is controlled on a daily basis, and we reuse the heat from furnaces and atomizers.
The two manufacturing facilities also use natural gas as their main source of energy. This is the energy we utilize for thermal processes, that is, in our furnaces, dryers and atomizers. Despite not being a renewable source of energy, natural gas is considered clean, as it produces no soot or solid waste of any kind. It also has great heating value, which is of special interest to the ceramics industry due to specific consumption. This means that the energy loss rate of natural gas is close to zero. With natural gas, we have more heat and at the same time the least amount of energy possible.
We use electric power as well: to light our factories, for some of the production line equipment and at our administrative facilities. In this case, the electric power comes from the Brazilian energy grid, generated mainly in hydroelectric power plants and wind farms, that is, renewable sources of energy. In our manufacturing and administrative facilities, we recently replaced incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs with LEDs.
The Marechal Deodoro manufacturing facility also has a farm of solar panels measuring 80 square meters that produces 22 kWh and powers the facility’s main grid.
Portobello Shop stores have a standard lighting plan designed to ensure a balance between the best lighting to enhance customer experience and have the least energy consumption. A linear system of diffuse lights creates an inviting atmosphere at the stores while ensures that enough power is saved to light the entire area. The light opening angle for spotlights used on Portobello products on display, which consume more energy, is calculated so as to reduce the need for additional points.
At the stores opened in 2018 onward, which number more than 70, the entire lighting system uses LEDs, which consume approximately 20% less power compared to standard light bulbs. LEDs also last much longer: 50,000 hours, enough to light one of our stores for approximately 17 years. Comparatively, standard light bulbs are good for just 6,000 hours. By doing so, Portobello Shop is avoiding the disposal of this type of waste.