Skip to main content




Let’s start with a provocation.

Talking about sustainability, green practices, environmental protection is today a must.
True. It is also true that this green color takes often the form of a flag to wave. Even though there is no wind. Even though all over mentioned words are emptied of their deepest meaning. And then today, rather than high-sounding proclamations, it is necessary to become artisans and take small steps forward, far from self-celebrations. It is important to call things by their right name, without fear. The question is: what remains of all the redundant pomposity that revolves around a theme so delicate and inescapable? Once the words zero environmental impact have been spoken, what kind of sound spread?


Good sustainable practices, far from billboards and posters, can be made even with small and quiet daily actions that, brick by brick, define both an attitude and a kind of ethic. Furthermore, what that can a chemical company do? A company that works in a field where the word chemophobia (irrational fear or prejudice to chemistry and everything to do with it) pulses like a dangerous red flashing light? How to get rid of the stigma? How can we tell in simple words that even in these fields, seemingly hostile to the environment, a sustainable policy, and therefore an ethical vision of all actions, is obviously possible and viable?


This is exactly where we want to start, by sharing a little Z&S project that - while clearly being part of a broader strategy guided by the well-known and demanding parameters of ISO quality systems - can be an interesting example of how every single brick helps to building the house.


Whether it’s products, tools, or processes, it doesn’t matter: every action has a consequence. We ask ourselves what levers can be moved to get a goal, and however small the lever, we put it into action. In this case, the action is about the redefinition of the supply method of some consumer products: from IBC packaging (Intermediate Bulk Container) to bulk tankers.

This is an apparently simple change that, however, has an environmental positive impact and that has required careful considerations about the processes review: technical, logistic, and productive.


The main targets of the project, of course, are all about the reduction in the use of plasticpackaging, the decrease of unnecessary transport and of the important water consumption used for washing IBC before the re-use.

Three elements that at a first sight seem to be trivial but that can make the difference in a wider perspective.


From the customer side, the IBC’s less handling along with the possibility to avoid the storage of bulk packaging that take a lot of space in the warehouse are already a very important upgrade, despite the necessary revision of some tools and company’s internal processes such as the presence of storage silos as well as the different management of the pumps that connect the tanker to the silos.


From Z&S Ceramco side, instead, what was necessary to check and test before offering the market this interesting option?


Because of the increased amount of product stored by customers and so of the longer consumption times, it has been necessary a prior and in-depth analysis of all products involved in the project. In other words, the proper and new design of all formula has been a precondition to test the proper values of the suspension’s viscosity, that is crucial for the proper discharge of the product into the silos.

Replacing several small orders with less numerous but larger supplies, also involves a different approach in terms of bacterial attack that may lead to a product’s degradation during storage. According to this different general scenario, but also considering the specific condition of any single customer, new possible directions have been identified as well as the proper chemicals to use

Speaking about the tools, it was also important to define and provide customers with a different and detailed procedure about the management of both silos and pumps, especially in terms of sanitization. The different products location together with the longer times of consumption have imposed a profound analysis to set-up an action plan.

Because of the massive production of all products involved in the project, even the Z&S production department has been forced to revise its procedural arrangements, both on an organizational and methodological level. For this reason, just to give an example, the discharge of the selected products from the silos to the tank truck had to be properly studied, tested, and arranged to avoid critical issues during the delivery.


We are basically talking about a kaleidoscope of actions with a very specific goal: to offer an additional service to our target while improving corporate sustainability in terms of production and shipping. A sequence of small, almost millimetric, actions that all together build the house.


A house that (we already said that, but we say it again) opens its door to sustainable mobility thanks to the reduction of the number of tracks on the local roads, and therefore a reduction, however modest, of their emissions.

A house in which is reduced the plastic consumption that, not being biodegradable, dangerously affects the habitat and that – in the project – it is replaced by the tankers’ metal and by the silos’ fiberglass.

A house in which the most precious good is preserved: the water usually used for the preventive cleaning of the IBC before their reuse within the production cycle, sanitized and purified from all residues.

A house that finally pays attention to the waste reduction and the waste disposal, i.e., to the residual product that remains inside the plastic IBC and that is about 30/50 kg for each tank.


And so let’s go back where we started: a small case history within the company that shows how – even   in terms of environmental sustainability – every action, any single brick, no matter how small or modest, is important to build more solid and cleaner buildings. That’s because ethic and sustainability can be built not only through great action but also through the alleged banality of small daily things.

Back to News