LIFE Project Cover Photo

New circular business concepts for the predictive and dynamic environmental and social design of the economic activities

Reference: LIFE16 ENV/IT/000307 | Acronym: LIFE: Force of the Future



Environmental sustainability actions in industry can create new opportunities for growth. The construction sector is responsible for 30% of industrial employment in the European Union, and contributes over 10% of the gross domestic product of the EU. Construction also accounts for some 40% of the EU’s total energy consumption and contributes almost 36% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To alleviate these significant environmental impacts, there has been a growing orientation towards more sustainable construction processes, with a special focus on resource use efficiency and materials with lower environmental impacts over their entire life-cycle. Such a focus demands a unified vision that integrates social, environmental and economic aspects of corporate strategy within one single framework.


The LIFE: Force of the Future project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of introducing dynamic monitoring of environmental, economic and social impacts of a ceramic company, by integrating sustainability issues into the existing production data for the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP). This will be done by creating an integrated management tool able to identify and design both technological and sustainable properties of materials and processes. The concept of "new production systems" will be applied by means of a model assessing the environmental, economic, and social impact of a process that will be integrated into existing ERP systems. The model will include life-cycle assessment (LCA), life-cycle costing (LCC) and social life-cycle assessment (S-LCA). It will help support the choice of raw materials and the design and manufacturing phases of products.

The LIFE project will develop, at both prototype and small-scale production level, a new product line of ceramic tiles characterised by a higher index of sustainability compared to current production. The project will contribute to the implementation of the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy and to the enhancement of resource efficiency opportunities in the building sector (in line with the Communication, COM/2014/0445). Project objectives are in harmony with the goals of the Industrial Emissions Directive.

Expected results:

  • A stochastic programming model for sustainable decision support systems, integrating the three variables of sustainability (environmental, economic and social) in the production process;
  • A sustainable ERP module, integrated with a strategic design tool and a dynamic impact assessment tool, which will improve the environmental, economic and social performance of the company by 30-40%;
  • 10% reduction of atmospheric emissions (about 100 tonnes of CO2eq);
  • 15% reduction of transport related emissions;
  • 20% reduction of ceramic waste;
  • 15% reduction of energy consumption (about 400 000 kWh);
  • 10-15% reduction of industrial costs and external costs;
  • 15% increase in company income; and
  • Two additional jobs created.


    Reference: LIFE16 ENV/IT/000307
    Acronym: LIFE: Force of the Future
    Start Date: 01/10/2017
    End Date: 31/05/2021
    Total Budget: 5,036,069 €
    EU Contribution: 2,577,101 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Gruppo Ceramiche Gresmalt S.p.A.
    Legal Status: PCO
    Address: Via Statale 467, n. 45, 42013, Casalgrande (RE), Italia
    Contact Person: Davide Settembre Blundo
    Tel: 390522859111

    LIFE Project Map



    • Non-metallic minerals
    • Life Cycle Assessment-Management


    • raw material consumption
    • ceramics industry
    • life-cycle management


    • Directive 2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.2008)
    • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)
    • Directive 2010/75 - Industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control) (24.11.2010)


    Name Type
    Gruppo Ceramiche Gresmalt S.p.A. Coordinator
    Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain Participant
    Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy Participant