In the northeastern part of Brazil, Capela is a center of the energy-intensive brick making industry. Until recently factories fueled their kilns by cutting down trees from the Caatinga -- a virgin forest that covers much of the region. But some have recently made the switch to biomass.
New fuels range from wood chips that are byproducts of the furniture industry to bamboo and eucalyptus trees that are sourced from sustainable plantations. The factories also re-use the heat generated by their kilns to dry their bricks -- and use ash as compost. That makes production significantly more climate-friendly than conventional methods. Some are also investing in social projects, including literacy programs and environmental education for children.