Ethanol-powered Plane Is Just One Item on Brazil Embraer’s Green Push

Embraer's ethanol-propelled Ipanema Embraer, Brazil's world-famous aircraft manufacturer, has established a board of directors aimed at expanding its environmental policies. The board of Environmental Strategies and Technologies will be headed by the executive vice-president for Strategic Planning and Technological Development at the company, Satoshi Yokota.

The objective is to develop specific environmental preservation policies within the company. The board will support internal business units in their strategies for reducing the environmental impact of the company's production processes and its products, as well as those of suppliers and customers.

"The board's assignments include overall supervision of how the environmental issue evolves, helping the company in its search for alternative materials and technologies that have less impact on the environment," said Yokota.

The company was the first in the airspace sector to obtain, in 2002, the ISO 14001 international certification, which attests to Embraer's correct environmental practices. The company has recently hired a consultancy company to monitor the level of carbon dioxide emissions in its operations.

"We are going to reexamine our strategies for dealing with present and future issues, minimizing the company's environmental impact and contributing to the global effort to reduce the emission of greenhouse effect gases and global warming," said the director for Environmental Strategies and Technologies, Graciliano Campos, in a press release issued by the company.

Some of Embraer's airplanes, such as the executive jets, already have features that maintain the emission levels of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides below the levels determined by the norms of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Embraer was the pioneering airspace company to certify an aircraft for flying on alcohol fuel, in 2004. The Ipanema is the world's first series aircraft to leave the factory with a certification to fly with this type of fuel, according to a press release issued by the company.

Besides being cheaper than aviation gasoline, alcohol makes aircraft less pollutant, as it has a neutral carbon emission balance and has no lead in its composition, which makes it an ecologically correct fuel.

The aircraft manufacturer has been expanding its environment preservation actions. The company's recycling program, which started out in 1998, is becoming increasingly efficient. The volume of recycled material increased from 52.9% in 2000 to 79.6% in 2006.

This implies that of all the residues produced, which include wood, plastic, paper, polystyrene, and even cardboard and cooking oil, a large share is recycled.

The company also supports environmental projects in the municipality of São José dos Campos, in the interior of São Paulo state, where it is based. In the city of Gavião Peixoto, where the company owns a unit, an ambitious reforestation project is being developed, by which 400,000 trees have already been replanted.

Anba

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