Duravit builds the world’s first climate-neutral ceramic plant in Canada

Posted in News, Products on 20 July, 2023

Manufacturer of design bathrooms becomes pioneer for 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 such as WCs and washbasins will be manufactured here 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. Duravit thus becomes a pioneer in the industry.

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 (EUR 13 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 (EUR 7.5 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 the long-standing partner SACMI, a new type of kiln for these requirements has been developed. 

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.

“The Government of Canada’s investment in this project will not only bring a world-renowned business to Quebec, but also a business that has distinguished itself by its ability to innovate for over 200 years. By focusing on Quebec and its hydroelectricity as a source of clean, renewable energy, Duravit Canada is demonstrating that it is possible for growth and the fight against climate change to go hand in hand. By supporting Duravit Canada, our government is helping a business make the jump into the technologies of the future and make winning choices for our planet.”
Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

“Canada will be the first country in the world to produce carbon-neutral ceramics! Thanks to our homegrown talent, our renewable energy, and our proximity to the market, German business Duravit has chosen Matane for its very first plant in North America. This investment not only aligns with our economic vision for a greener future but will also enable the creation of good jobs in the region, while also strengthening Canada’s position and reputation as a green supplier of choice.
François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Regional development is very important for our government, and the arrival of a business such as Duravit in Quebec is a wonderful example of this. The major assistance announced today will not only create quality jobs, but also stimulate economic development in the peninsula. Economic success in Matane means economic success throughout the Gaspésie region, and our government is proud to be able to contribute to this.”
Diane Lebouthillier, Member of Parliament for Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Minister of National Revenue

“Duravit is a global leader in its field. It is therefore excellent news that the business is choosing Quebec as the location of its first carbon-neutral plant in the world and its first production site in North America. This is major project that meets our objectives to substitute imports and to enhance productivity through process automation.”
Christopher Skeete, Minister for the Economy, Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region

“The Bas-Saint-Laurent region is a natural entry point into the market of the Americas. With its deep water port, the city of Matane holds a strategic position, which gave it a competitive advantage in implementing this promising project for the future of the region, and all of Quebec.”
Maïté Blanchette Vézina, Minister of Natural Resources and Forests and Minister Responsible for the Bas-Saint-Laurent Region and the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine Region

“Our team is very happy to see this important project happen, establishing a key international player in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region. We have been working with Duravit for several years now to showcase Quebec and the beautiful Matane region. This is the start of a business relationship that we are confident will generate major economic spin-offs for all of Quebec.”
Hubert Bolduc, President of Investissement Québec International

“I am very proud and pleased that we are welcoming Duravit to our city. Today, Matane stands out as a strong city, an economic pillar, and a hub to attract businesses from around the world. I salute the exceptional work done by all our partners in this project and, of course, the Duravit team, with whom we have been collaborating so well since the start. Businesses are major allies in developing our city, and the arrival of a multinational such as Duravit can only be a source of delight, confirming Matane’s economic vitality now and in the future.”
Eddy Métivier, Mayor of Matane

“We are very proud to act as forerunners in designing a sustainable sanitary industry and to actively face the challenges posed by climate change. At Duravit, we are thereby establishing new standards to implement innovative solutions in a sector characterized by high energy consumption.”
Stephan Tahy, CEO of Duravit

About Duravit AG
Founded in 1817 in Hornberg in the Black Forest, Duravit AG is today a leading international manufacturer of design bathrooms and is operating in more than 130 countries worldwide. The complete bathroom supplier’s product portfolio comprises top quality sanitary ceramics, bathroom furniture, bathtubs and shower trays, wellness systems, shower-toilets, faucets and accessories as well as installation systems. Alongside its in-house design expertise, Duravit also works closely on product development with an international network of designers such as Cecilie Manz, Philippe Starck, Christian Werner, Sebastian Herkner and Bertrand Lejoly as well as talented newcomers. Duravit’s ambition is to make its stakeholders lives a little better each day through a combination of forward-looking designs, uncompromising product excellence, a keen sense of human requirements and responsible corporate management. A key measure in achieving these aims is the overriding mission to become a climate-neutral business by 2045, without exceptions.

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