Initiatives to Make Operations More Sustainable Generate Economy and Efficiency in Logistics at Ultracargo

Com o apoio dos colaboradores, Ultracargo implementa melhorias nos terminais de Santos (SP), Suape (PE) e Itaqui (MA) para preservar recursos e reduzir desperdícios e resíduos

The pursuit of more sustainable solutions in the industry does not necessarily require a large economic expenditure: it is possible to combine environmental care with the optimization of financial resources. At Ultracargo, employees have been encouraged to reexamine their activities from the perspective of eco-efficiency. Among the ongoing projects are the use of materials that would otherwise be discarded to create a rainwater harvesting system, the reuse of chemical residues for paint production, and the implementation of adjustments to reduce the generation of oily effluents.

At the Port of Santos, chemical residues that were previously sent for disposal are now being used in paint manufacturing. The material is reused within Ultracargo itself for the revitalization of structures, thus closing a circular economy cycle. Since the beginning of the project in 2022, it is estimated that the company has saved approximately R$ 250,000 that would have been spent on disposal costs. The idea has been so successful that it is being expanded to other terminals, aligning with the company’s ESG 2030 goals.

At the Port of Suape in Pernambuco, the challenge is to reduce water consumption from the network. By using materials that were ready for disposal, it was possible to develop a system capable of capturing around 400 liters of rainwater. The resource is being used for garden maintenance and sidewalk washing. With the success of the first phase of the project, the plan is to increase the capacity for rainwater harvesting by utilizing more barrels that would otherwise be destined for disposal as they become available.

These initiatives are part of SOUL, the Ultracargo Operations System, which encourages continuous improvement with employee engagement at all levels:

“SOUL has been bringing constant evolutions to Ultracargo in terms of safety, efficiency, and sustainability. Some projects are large and have a cost for implementation, while others are day-to-day improvements that, when combined, have made a significant difference in achieving our ESG goals. Most importantly, all employees can be part of this movement and are encouraged to propose improvements, so everyone participates in building a more sustainable future,” says Leopoldo Gimenes, Ultracargo’s Executive Director of Operations and Engineering.

At the Port of Itaqui in Maranhão, the challenge was to reduce oily effluents sent for treatment. To achieve this, improvements were made to the Auxiliary Drainage Tank (TAD), such as changing the positioning of the pipelines and increasing the diameter of the structures, as well as implementing an infrastructure for an automated dye injection system in a closed circuit. As a result, there was a 44% reduction in effluent volume compared to initially projected, resulting in a savings of R$100,000 in the first year of implementing the improvements. The innovations reduced the execution time of the activity from two hours to ten minutes and allowed the process to be automated, improving ergonomics and safety.

These initiatives have contributed to the advancement of sustainability goals, a set of commitments that Ultracargo aims to fulfill by 2030. The goals are divided into six material themes: Health and Safety; Governance and Integrity; Eco-efficient Operations; Responsibility to the Community; Value Chain; and Inclusive Culture and Diversity.