Transformation of the bricks sector in Colombia - A successful intervention model

Colombia’s 1,508 production units and 2,435 brick kilns produce over 12 million tons of bricks annually. Its brick sector is primarily composed of artisanal kilns (75%), which produce 11% of the country’s bricks. A 2015 Climate and Clean Air Coalition brick sector inventory showed the sector employs 21,000 people directly and almost 8,000 indirectly.  The sector emits approximately 785 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) of black carbon annually.   

Since 2015, the Environmental Business Corporation (Corporación Ambiental Empresarial (CAEM)) has run a Climate and Clean Air Coalition project to get Colombia’s brick sector to implement more sustainable production practices. It focuses on three key areas of work: (1) creating  an enabling public policy environment to reduce black carbon emissions and increase sustainability, (2) increasing scientific knowledge and using technical tools and instruments to develop detailed inventories, emission measurements, and cost benefit analyses, and (3) increasing awareness and incentives for brick producers.   

Colombia continues to progress efforts to replace artisanal kiln technologies with improved, efficient, low carbon technologies. The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism have worked with the brick sector to develop a mitigation waybill to track and certify the sector’s contribution to the reduction of national greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. Colombia’s brick sector is regulated by resolution (909/08).  


The Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s Bricks Initiative is the only global initiative bringing together brick producers, experts, and public policy officials to achieve substantial reductions of black carbon and other emissions from the sector and transform it into a healthier, more profitable, and socially responsible industry. 

Coalition partners are working to: 

  • Increase scientific knowledge, improve technology and develop policy through global and regional expert groups 
  • Strengthen the local technical innovation capacity of producers and other actors in the sector 
  • Engage and advise policy makers on policy reform to modernize the sector 

What we're doing

The Coalition is helping Colombia: 

  • Conduct a national brick kiln inventory  
  • Measure black carbon emissions from the sector using the Ratnoze 2 instrument and the Climate Accounting, Measurement and Analysis (CLIAMA) Sampling Protocol in Colombia 
  • Develop a portfolio of black carbon reduction measures that support an energy efficient brick sector 
  • Share Colombia’s knowledge and experience with countries with similar challenges in their brick sector. 

Project updates