Duravit Builds Climate-Neutral Ceramic Plant
Duravit is building the world’s first climate-neutral ceramic plant in Canada. The manufacturer of designer bathrooms has becomes a pioneer for the sustainable sanitary industry.
Duravit AG is taking a quantum leap towards a sustainable future: the world’s first climate-neutral ceramic production facility is being built at the Matane site in the Canadian province of Québec.
The new Canadian site will create 240 new jobs, with production scheduled to start in early 2025. Ceramic sanitary ware products will be manufactured there in the future exclusively using renewable energies. For the firing process, Duravit will use the world’s first electric roller kiln powered by electricity from hydropower. The use of this innovative technology will save around 11,000 tons of CO2 per year compared to a conventional ceramic factory.
Broad political support spurs implementation
The plant, which will enter into service in 2025, will be the first production site for Duravit AG in North America. The business aims to supply the North American market, while eliminating its greenhouse gas emissions. Thanks to hydroelectricity and the proximity of inputs, the Matane plant will become the first carbon-neutral sanitary ceramic products plant in the world.
To implement this project, the Government of Canada is providing the business with a repayable contribution of $19 million under CED’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.
For its part, the Government of Quebec is granting a loan of $11 million through the ESSOR program, managed by Investissement Québec as its representative.
Innovative response to climate change
In designing and preparing the new production site, Duravit worked closely with the Italian manufacturer of machinery and plants for ceramics SACMI as a strategic partner. Important substantial synergies have been achieved through the joint development work. Previously, the technology of an electric kiln was unusable for the sanitary ceramics sector. Thanks to close cooperation with SACMI, a new type of kiln has been developed.
“We are very proud to act as forerunners in designing a sustainable sanitary industry and to actively face the challenges posed by climate change,” said Stephan Tahy, CEO of Duravit. “At Duravit, we are thereby establishing new standards to implement innovative solutions in a sector characterized by high energy consumption.”
Project proves feasibility of CO2-neutral production
The use of renewable energies such as hydropower will reduce CO2 emissions in production to zero: Duravit is thus the first ceramics manufacturer to rely on an electric firing process together with market leader SACMI, enabling it to produce in a completely climate-neutral manner. The manufacturer of design bathrooms shows that under the right conditions, it is already possible today to produce in a CO2-neutral way, even for energy-intensive industries.
In addition to climate-neutral production at the plant, logistics are also designed to be sustainable. All raw materials are sourced directly on site in Canada as well as from the USA, which means short transport distances. This additionally reduces emissions and ensures an environmentally friendly supply chain. The ceramic parts produced in Canada are mainly planned for the North American market and thus play a decisive role in the company’s growth strategy.
“This world-class facility sets a new global standard for sustainable manufacturing and underscores Duravit’s commitment to innovation at all scales,” said Bob Downie, President & CEO of Duravit USA, Inc. “Once operating, the new facility will have a significant impact on the North American Market supporting strategic sales and brand initiatives as well as optimizing distribution and service for customers across the US and Canada.”
Groundbreaking ceremony in Matane. From left to right: Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for Economic Development Canada for the Québec Regions (DEC); Stephan Tahy, CEO Duravit AG; François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry; Thomas Stammel, COO Duravit AG (photo source: Duravit AG)
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