Tiles

The European Life: Force of the Future (Forture) project

31/05/2019

Gresmalt leads the research project that will develop a new dynamic model for the quantitative assessment of the environmental and socio-economic impact of the ceramic production process.

Developing an innovative dynamic model for the quantitative assessment of the environmental and socio-economic impact of the ceramic production process. This is the goal of the European Life: Force of the Future (Forture) project, developed jointly by Ceramiche Gresmalt Group (Sassuolo), the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid with the support of the EU LIFE Programme.

Adopting a sustainable development approach (i.e. finding a balance between economic sustainability or company profit on the one hand and environmental and social sustainability on the other), the Forture project aims to overcome the limits of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), using the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) tool, which is one of the best-known methods for determining sustainability performance indicators for a product/process. The new model, in fact, will integrate the three different impact assessment tools: environmental (LCA), economic (Life Cycle Costing) and social (Social Life Cycle Assessment).

The goal is to develop a tool for real-time dynamic analysis (rather than one based on historical data) using IoT digital technologies for data collection, thereby allowing rapid corrective action to be taken with respect to the process and product.

Moreover, it will be possible to use the programme for eco-design during the phases of new product design and new raw material or formulation selection, as well as for evaluating alternative plant solutions. By integrating the sustainability calculation system into the ERP platform, it will also be possible to formulate a new business model that includes the Sustainability Performance Indicators (SPIs).

The research, which began in October 2017, is currently in progress and will conclude in October 2020 with a validation phase involving the design and production of a new ceramic tile collection with a high level of sustainability. The innovative system will then be ready to be transferred to the European ceramic industry and to the building sector in general.

LIFE: Force of the Future, is aimed at achieving an improvement of the environmental, economic, and social performance of 30-40% compared to the current production, thanks to the following outcomes:

  • 10% reduction of atmospheric emissions;
  • 15% reduction of pollutants related to transports;
  • 20% reduction of ceramic waste and related costs;
  • 15% reduction of energy consumption;
  • 15% reduction of environmental damage.
  • Industrial costs (target: – 10-15%)
  • External costs (target: – 10-15%)
  • Cash flow (target: + 15-20%)
  • Stakeholder Engagement Index (target: 55-65%)
  • Training and professional updating (target: 55-65%).

Read the article published on Ceramic World Review 131/2019