Corticeira Amorim, Portugese Cork Supplier's Sustainability Report

Our feet smile on cork floors; eyes feast on cork veneer walls; mouths, water over uncorked wine; forearms slither over chairs upolstered with it ; hands proudly hold fly rod handles and umbrella grips of cork. Good for just about anything. But how sustainable is it?

A Portuguese market leader, Corticeira Amorim, has announced the publication of their first Sustainability Report (Portuguese language only), reflecting jointly with stakeholders on how to contribute to an effective sustainable development. Some of the highlights from the report that we found noteworthy follow.

CO2-retention capabilities of Portugal's cork forests are estimated to be as high as 5% of the country's annual emissions, or 4.8 million tons per year.

Amorim's annual production of natural wine stoppers alone retains over 25 thousand tons of CO2, creating a unique balance between the creation of wealth and the protection of the environment.

Over 45% of Amorim's energy needs are supplied by renewable sources, including natural cork itself.

These figures, based on research recently presented by Lisbon University’s School of Agronomy, represent just 32% of the world’s 2.3 million hectares (5.7 million acres) of cork forests.

In the case of natural wine cork stoppers, it is estimated that each one of the three billion units annually produced by Amorim retains approximately 8.8 grams of CO2. The recycling of these products – an activity embraced by millions of wine drinkers worldwide – plays a significant role in extending these CO2-retention capabilities.

Cork oaks are evergreen trees that play a fundamental role in the fight against desertification of large areas, not just in Europe but also in the Northern African countries of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, where cork forests are often the only obstacle to the fast-advancing Sahara Desert.

Cork oaks, through their unique ability to thrive in sandy and low-nutrient soils, allow for the crucial fixation of organic matter and water-retention capabilities. The resulting environmental balance creates the ideal ecosystem where countless animal and vegetal species prosper. These include some of the world’s most endangered species, such as the Imperial Eagle, the Black Stork and Europe’s last wild feline, the Iberian Lynx.

Via::Business Wire. Image credit:: Cork Oak, Corticeira Amorim

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