SUSTAINABILITY BY NATURE
Under the motto “nothing is lost, everything is valued”, Corticeira Amorim has been transforming waste resulting from the production of cork stoppers since 1963, which is converted into granules, and then into agglomerated cork, thus offering new possibilities for cork. This was the first step towards the circular economy, that is now one the group’s main pillars – 150 years after its foundation. Today they have 29 establishments with a FSC® certification, 63% of their energy derives from renewable sources (biomass), Amorim have planted almost 1 million autochthonous trees, their waste recovery rate is over 90%, and they conduct recycling across five continents.
Sustainability: the ambition to go further
At Corticeira Amorim, sustainability is an ambition and commitment, but above all is an intensely experienced reality. Cork, a 100% natural, renewable, recyclable and reusable raw material, is an excellent starting point. But it is the ambition to go further that creates a really positive impact for the planet, communities and people.
In 2004 Amorim was the first packaging company in the world to achieve a FSC® certification in the chain of custody in the cork industry. Since 2006 the group has published an annual sustainability report. And in 2008 the group joined the Green Cork project dedicated to the collection of cork stoppers for recycling. As the leader of one of the world’s most sustainable industries, Corticeira Amorim’s responsibility in this vital contemporary issue is even clearer.
In fact, in response to the mission of adding value to cork, in a competitive, differentiated and innovative manner, in perfect harmony with nature, Corticeira Amorim has identified 12 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 44 objectives, which constitute priorities for its strategy. The group’s entire sustainability programme is therefore aligned to meet these objectives, using a wide array of concerted initiatives.
The fact that the group develops its business activity based on cork - a 100% natural raw material, extracted cyclically from trees without damaging them - places Corticeira Amorim in a privileged strategic position. For this reason, it positions itself as “sustainable by nature”. But the group’s ambition to go further makes all the difference.
CORTICEIRA AMORIM’S OBJECTIVES
1. Preserve the cork oak forest and eco-system services
2. Reduce its environmental impact
3. Apply circular economy principles
4. Develop green products
5. Support R&D + Innovation
6. Leverage economic growth
7. Foster training and well-being
8. Ensure health and safety
Amorim cork stoppers: negative carbon footprint, positive impact
An independent study conducted by the consultancy firm, EY, on the life cycle of cork stoppers has confirmed the unique sustainability credentials of Amorim cork stoppers. The carbon retention levels are -309g CO2eq / stopper in the case of natural cork stoppers, and -562g CO2eq / stopper for sparkling wine stoppers. In both cases, these figures take into account the carbon sequestration of the cork oak forest.
In order to assess the impacts associated with the production process of cork stoppers and obtain data to improve its environmental performance, Corticeira Amorim recently commissioned a study from the renowned consultancy firm, EY, on the life cycle of cork stoppers. The study’s conclusions, revealed in early 2020, confirm the negative carbon footprint of Amorim cork stoppers, and their decisive contribution to combating climate change and protecting the planet.
The EY study adopted a cradle-to-gate approach, which evaluated the product’s life cycle, from obtaining raw materials to completing the production process. The various stages of the production process were studied, using a business-to-business approach, namely: forestry activities, cork preparation, including transportation from the forest, production, finishing and packaging. To enable comparison with the approach used in previous studies, the impact of distribution of the product from Portugal to the United Kingdom was also calculated. The assessment also included additional information on the carbon sequestration of the cork oak forest. Based on a detailed calculation for the carbon footprint of the natural cork stopper, it was calculated that there is carbon retention, with a positive impact on climate regulation, of -5.7g CO2eq / stopper.
The results for the carbon footprint of the champagne stopper also revealed carbon retention, with a positive impact of -2.5g CO2eq / stopper.
Considering the extended perimeter, including the carbon sequestration of the cork oak forest associated with cork production, the results are even more expressive: -309g CO2eq / natural cork stopper and -562g CO2eq / sparkling stopper.
These figures, which far exceed previous assessments, reveal significant improvements in Corticeira Amorim’s environmental performance, due to efficient use of resources and energy efficiency measures. The impact of the circular economy, in a company that uses biomass to cover 63% of its energy needs, is evident. And the superiority of cork stoppers - a 100% natural, biodegradable solution with unique sustainability credentials - is also unquestionable.
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