Confindustria Ceramica

Emission reduction

A new system of authorized “quotas” that can be traded between businesses to progressively reduce the ceramic industries’ emissions into the atmosphere also boosts innovation. It adopts simplified mechanisms that can improve the environment, increase businesses’ competitive edge and more.

These are the main features of the agreement on the control of atmospheric emissions in the ceramic district of Modena and Reggio Emilia, which was signed on 25 March in the Province of Modena’s offices by representatives of the Provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia, five Modenese municipalities (Castelvetro, Fiorano, Formigine, Maranello and Sassuolo), five Reggio Emilia municipalities (Casalgrande, Castellarano, Rubiera, Scandiano and Viano) and Confindustria Ceramica, the Italian ceramic industry association.

This agreement introduces new tools to guide progressive reduction and reinforces the ban on exceeding maximum emissions from ceramic plants as authorized for the entire district in 1996.

Alberto Caldana, Councilor for the Environment for the Province of Modena, explains: “With the emission quotas system, we are introducing a brand new procedure for controlling emissions that seeks to involve businesses and give them incentives to invest in the environment. Worthy companies will have a competitive advantage, especially during a downturn like this, and can rely on a series of simplified procedures, without penalizing the environment”.

According to Alfredo Gennari, Councilor for the Environment for the Province of Reggio Emilia, “This result has been achieved through constructive dialogue between the district’s companies and the public bodies in charge of environmental protection. The agreement holds in due consideration sustainable development principles and is in line with the earlier agreement while making space for innovation. In point of fact, it includes the institution of a system of emissions trading, which is an advantage for the companies, and even more so for the public’s quality of life by helping maintain a constant level of protection in the ceramic district”.

Alfonso Panzani, Confindustria Ceramica’s president, says: “Signing this agreement is another important step on the path to sustainable development, a path that this district’s ceramic industry has been on for many years now. As the ceramic companies commit to further reduce emissions, I hope that the public administrations will commit to truly simplifying and expediting authorization procedures to support companies in making imminent, necessary restructuring. This signature is important for confirming the commitment of individual companies and the industry as a whole to social responsibility.”

This agreement applies to emissions of dust, fluorine and lead through a mechanism that lets companies trade their authorized emission quotas, as long as they reduce them by a set portion for each trade (see press release no. 335). This will progressively decrease the authorized level of pollutants in the district. Emission quotas can be used or suspended depending on the demands of the changing marketplace with mechanisms based on simplified procedures.

The agreement also includes a reward system for companies that implement technological innovations and make improvements to their purification or energy savings and recovery systems, or prove they have reduced related emissions from vehicle traffic.