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Ecobricks are energy and resource efficient bricks made with waste materials and produced using cleaner production techniques. With improved quality, they result in reduced carbon footprints while also reducing the stress on virgin resources
While technologies are available today to produce Ecobricks, most of the brick production in India is done through traditional fixed chimney kilns and clamps.

The Ecobrick initiative looks at spreading awareness and creating an enabling environment for accelerating cleaner production techniques. This is expected to contribute towards India’s growth towards a sustainable economy

Present technologies are highly energy intensive and resource inefficient with a coal consumption of around 20-30 ton/lakh bricks produced. Losses from wastage alone can reach up to 30% depending on the soil quality. In many areas, low quality coal is used which even increases emissions in conventional firing processes. Apart from gases, particulate matter is especially hazardous to health as it leads to respiratory and pulmonary disorders amongst kiln workers and residents of the surrounding areas. The use of fertile top soil adversely affects agriculture as soil is a limiting resource that takes years to regenerate.

Green Brick

Green Brick

TARA BrickMek

TARA BrickMek

In addition to the environmental impact, there are serious social implications in terms of unsanitary and hazardous working conditions, child labour, exploitation of women and senior citizens. As most of the labour is migrant, any form of formal education for children is a distant reality.

On the other hand, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has declared that this sector provides the cheapest avenue for mitigation of GHGs. In India, sustainable production practices in the brick sector are available.

However, they are confined to a few Research Laboratories and Institutions, and remain out of bounds for common entrepreneurs both in terms of affordability and accessibility. While the transformation in the brick sector has been initiated, the progress is slow. In order to catalyse this transformation there is a need to overcome key barriers to set up

What is CO2e?

CO2e or Carbon Dioxide Equivalent is a unit for measuring carbon footprint, by expressing the impact of different greenhouse gases in terms of the equivalent warming caused by carbon dioxide.

X tonnes of CO2 + Y tonnes of CO2e (such as methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases) = Total emissions

This is expected to encourage entrepreneurs to adopt cleaner technologies and help in the country’s move towards low carbon growth. If the Indian brick sector adopts energy efficient measures (50% savings in fuel consumption through efficient technologies) then it can contribute to savings of around 100 million tonnes of CO2e/year by 2020 which will greatly aid achievement of the voluntary reduction announced by the Government of India.

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