Programme profile

EELA: Energy Efficiency in Brick Kilns in Latin America

Argentina Bolivia Brazil Colombia Ecuador Mexico Peru Latin America and Caribbean Energy

Programme Index Listing

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru
Main implementer
Jan 2010 - June 2017
Total budget
USD $18,000,000
Annual budget
USD $2.400.000
Results and reviews
Key findings and learnings

Project description / objective

Reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and improve the level of income through the scaling up of technological changes and implementation of good practices in brick kilns that improve energy efficiency.

Market system focus

The EELA programme was implemented under a systemic or market approach. The strategy aimed to scale validated measures that reduce GHG and to increase revenues for market players.

Under this scheme, the programme facilitated the strengthening of brick and plaster value chain players. Thus, the demand of innovative brick makers who decide to invest in more efficient technological models becomes a business opportunity for equipment manufacturers and oven builders. 

In addition, the financial sector is integrated so that it can offer loans to both brick makers and suppliers. 

Access to the market allowed the brick makers to generate resources for the gradual acquisition of equipment to improve production processes with loans or own capital. 

Public policies within the market system were conductive or not, depending on the country.  EELA supports the different governments with materials and reports so that they can implement norms that promote the renovation of the sector.

Programme interventions

  1. Dissemination of information to producers and other player of the system regarding the economic and environmental benefits generated by technological change.
  2. Facilitate energy improvement of the sector through support to technology providers and promotion of linkages between suppliers and producers (in national and regional events, demonstration burns, field visits and training)
  3. Facilitation of producers’ access to local loan products that allow them to access the generated technology. Approach and articulation between financial institutions and producers.
  4. Make the sector visible at different national and international levels to generate enabling conditions for the improvement of the sector, as well as to promote a regulatory framework that includes environmental issues.

Notable results (systemic change, poverty impact)

  • GHG reduction achieved: 1,067,192 tonnes of CO2 (decrease of USD 8 in cost per tonne of CO2 reduced) 
  • 3,635 brick makers invested USD 32 million in green production technologies
  • 47 financial institutions linked to 3,625 brick makers with the potential to serve over 30,000 more brick makers. Producers linked to 153 technology providers.

Key learnings

System approaches have great potential in achieving substantial and sustainable economic and environmental gains. But adopting the approach successfully requires that it is operationalised - with implications for design, activities and personnel.

Regional programme structures have great potential when they are consistent with the regional reality of market systems and they encourage synergies and economies of scale in relation to learning and reporting.

EELA had least success in influencing the public policy environment around brickmaking. Intervening here is inherently challenging by its nature - particularly the political incentives involved, the realities of government capacities, and the time required to stimulate change. But engagement in the public policy ‘space’ is more likely to be successful if it uses the same systems framework in its analysis and interventions.

Other implementing agencies

Bolivia: Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation - Swisscontact
Brazil: National Institute of Technology (INT), of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation
Colombia: Business Environmental Corporation (CAEM), of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá
Ecuador: Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation - Swisscontact.
Mexico: Professional Services - SERPRO.
Peru: Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation – Swisscontact

[uploaded January 2018]