Ceramica Sant’Agostino: beauty, research and tradition
Ceramica Sant’Agostino is an internationally recognised reality, synonymous with Italian excellence, founded on the concept of an integrated quality that cannot ignore ethics, commitment and constancy. Values that distinguish Ceramica Sant’Agostino as an international company that, although with a decidedly future-oriented mentality, has been able to preserve its values and entrepreneurial traditions. The company, founded by Aristide Manuzzi, began its activity in 1964 near Ferrara, in an area geographically distant from the other Italian companies in the sector, almost all of which are concentrated in a very specific point of Emilia. This peculiarity has meant that over the years the company has been able to develop and then maintain a strong design autonomy and a strategic vision that is always innovative.
Today, Ceramica Sant’Agostino is one of the leading Italian players in the porcelain stoneware sector with a production capacity of approximately 4,500,000 sq.m per year, made possible by the installation of a new kiln in 2022. The production cycle is one hundred per cent carried out in Italy, a choice made by the company with a precise aim of social and environmental responsibility and sustainability. Of the total production, around 75 per cent is exported to five continents and more than 80 countries worldwide. The company, still led today by the founder’s family, believes in and pursues a Family Company approach: this approach guarantees consistency with the company’s values and history, more streamlined decision-making processes for new initiatives and industrial and commercial development projects. Ceramica Sant’Agostino continuously invests in product and process technological innovation to produce high quality surfaces, characterised by technical functionality and versatility: true aesthetic solutions for the evolution of contemporary architecture.
FILIPPO MANUZZI, CEO, TOLD PLATFORM ABOUT THE EVOLUTION OF CERAMICA SANT’AGOSTINO.
One of the most important topics when talking about business and production realities is certainly that of sustainability. Ceramica Sant’Agostino has always shown a deep concern for this issue, but how does it address it and put it into practice? Filippo Manuzzi: The ceramic industry, like every production activity, has direct and indirect impacts in terms of resources used, waste production and emissions along the life cycle of its products and processes. Ceramica Sant’Agostino has always been sensitive to all these issues, actively addressing sustainability, with a view to continuous improvement, especially from an environmental point of view. In addition to complying with regulations, we voluntarily adopt the best international process and product environmental management standards, periodically certified by recognised external parties. More than 15 years ago, we developed ECOQUALITY, a complex system of action to coordinate all efforts aimed at obtaining top-quality products, in total compliance with the strictest European and international regulations for the protection of the environment, people, and consumers. It is a process that involves the entire company organisation and for this reason it has always been an ambitious project, as it is objectively measurable and constantly evolving. Recently we wanted to undertake the path to obtain the certificate of conformity to ISO 17889-1, the first international standard addressed to the ceramic sector, which describes the sustainability requirements for ceramic tiles according to environmental, economic and social criteria. There are many aspects concerning sustainability on which we have worked over the years and on which we are still working to do even better. For example, we reuse waste materials from processing in the production cycle, contributing to a lower consumption of natural raw materials. The company also has a partial rainwater recovery system that saves about 2500 m3 per year of water taken from the mains. All process water is completely recovered and reused within the production process, thus avoiding any possible discharge of waste water to the outside. Thanks to continuous technological investments and certified management procedures, emissions from production plants are well below the legal parameters. A gradual replacement of the company’s vehicle fleet with hybrids is underway and we are able to self-produce energy thanks to the construction of two high-efficiency cogeneration plants and a photovoltaic plant with an installed capacity of 3,3 MWh/year.
Research and innovation are at the heart of your development, not only technologically and industrially, but also and above all in terms of aesthetics and product quality. What are the innovations? F.M. Product research always stems from our desire to offer a wide range of high-level ceramics that are able to respond technically and stylistically to the needs of an ever-changing market. “Window. Architecture. Essence”, our Cersaie 2022 project, was inspired precisely by this idea: what is essential for us is research itself as an expression of curiosity. A feeling that does not stand still in the face of reality and that invites us to look beyond what the eye sees. Three words, three concepts that describe not only the new collections, but our philosophy: the window as an element to see through what we know and to continue the search towards what we still ignore. Architecture as a challenge to give order to the intangibility of time, through space. The essence that finds meaning in the act not of listening, but of feeling. This year’s collections invite us to go beyond the ordinary, beyond known reality and to push towards the intentional, towards the unthought, towards essence. This year’s collections urge one to dare in the combination of colours, styles and effects in a journey that has no stylistic patterns, but focuses on the expression of interiority.
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