Fossil-fuel phase-out in a coal paradise

Our Carbon offset project in Soacha, Colombia

Biomass in Soacha, Colombia

Soacha is a fast-growing suburb in the metropolitan area of Bogotá. Young people from rural areas try their luck there; others had to leave their villages during the civil war. Countless simple mudbrick houses are being built, and brick kilns make a good living. Since coal is cheaply available in Colombia, nearly all of the region's 40 brickworks use it to fire their kilns.

Except for the Santander brickyard, that is. Its owner, Miguel Diaz, has converted his business so that it operates modern, energy-efficient kilns – and he also runs them with up to 80 percent renewable biomass. This way, the brickyard saves 18,000 tons of carbon emissions each year.

This exclusive ClimatePartner carbon offset project is the first project in Colombia to receive Gold Standard certification.

Certificate type
Annual volume (tons CO2)

Contribution to the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs)

Improved regional air quality, high health and safety standards for workers.

Creating important job opportunities in the metropolitan area of Bogotá.

Transfer of a modern, clean technology and corresponding vocational training.

Miguel Diaz safes carbon emissions by using renewable biomass instead of wood, and his kilns are modern and efficient.

How does climate protection with a biomass project work?

Biomass projects are about not extracting heat or energy from fossil fuels such as coal, oil or wood from conventionally managed forests. Sustainably produced, renewable biomass is used instead. Examples include waste products consisting of coconut or Brazil nut shells, sawdust, wood waste, the remains from processing sugar cane along with bamboo or wood that has been sustainably grown. This prevents even more forests from being felled or fossil fuels being burnt – thus saving CO2 emissions.

This technology is frequently supplemented with additional measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions further: e.g. by improving the efficiency of an enterprise and using less fuel.