How One Small Business in Brazil is making a Big Impact on the Country’s Deforestation Problem
Antonio Marcos Tavares Barbosa has been working as the Industrial Director of the Kitambar ceramic factory for over 30 years. In 2007, after decades of making bricks, blocks and tiles for the local Brazilian economy, Barbosa and his team of 42 employees decided to run their factory on an unusual concoction of plants for energy, including algaroba, cashew tree residues and coconut husk. These plants are all by-products of renewable local crops that would normally be thrown away with no productive use.
This may seem like a small step by a local business on their journey to sustainability. However, Brazil is seeing record rates of deforestation, and regional businesses like Kitambar play a pivotal role in conserving the biodiversity and wildlife in the country. Nearly 8,000 square kilometers, or 3,000 square miles, of forest were destroyed between August 2017 and July 2018, which is equal to the size of 987,000 football fields.