Sao Paolo, Brazil GE Volunteers Council

Daily Point of Light # 3825 Oct 1, 2008

The GE Volunteers council in Sao Paolo created an unusual Ecologic soap factory thanks to a grant provided by the employee and retiree funded GE Volunteers Foundation.

Utilizing the business skills of GE volunteers the factory recycles used, donated cooking oil, which is screened and mixed with other products and transformed into ecologic soap. The factory’s production capacity amounts to the equivalent to one quarter of the cooking oil discarded in the city.

Here is a local press write up about the factory:

“The city has now a soap factory, which shall produce seven tons of product at first. The income from selling the product shall support social projects. A bakery spends an average of 200 liters of oil per week, for deep-frying all sorts of snacks.

Now, all the cooking oil used is donated. The gallons full of oil are taken by a van, which goes straight to this factory. Just like this bakery, other 243 companies shall help. The oil is poured into a drum, for screening. After that, it is conveyed to the machines, mixed with other products and transformed into ecologic soap. Each liter of recycled oil produces approx. 1,3 kilogram of soap. The factory is a partnership between a multinational company and the Coeso- Centro de Orientação e Educação Social (Coeso – Center for Social Education and Orientation) – a NGO, and started operations almost six months ago. It is waiting for Cetesb license. So, it is still undergoing tests.

The factory starts it commercial operation in December. Its production capacity shall be seven tones of bar soap and powder soap. According to the NGO, this is equivalent to one fourth of the cooking oil discarded in the city.

Each liger of cooking oil discarded into the waste water can pollute one million liters of water. This is approx. the amount of water consumed by one person in fourteen years.

Besides taking care of the rivers and preserving nature, recycling helps this NGO on developing social projects. The NGO provides in its facilities extra classes for school subjects, leisure activities and dance. It also maintains daycare centers, which serve 330 children.

The factory facility also maintains daycare centers and provides classes in academic subjects, leisure activities and dance. Today, the factory has eight employees, most of them parents of the children served by the centers. This work not only creates income and sustainability, but also protects the environment.”