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A sustainable leadership

“Completely natural, reusable and recyclable, cork is perfectly aligned with the environmental awareness of contemporary society.”

Corticeira Amorim pursues an exemplary economic activity in terms of sustainable development. By promoting cyclical harvesting of cork, without damaging the trees, the company ensures that the cork oak forest is a viable, natural and renewable resource, with endless environmental, economic and social benefits.

Cork oak forests are natural CO2 sinks, they regulate the hydrological cycle, protect against erosion and fire, and foster a level of biodiversity comparable to regions such as Amazonia, Borneo and the African savanna. Cork harvesting maintains the vitality of cork oak forests and fosters the associated economic, environmental and social development, enabling thousands of people to continue to live and work in arid and semi-arid areas. This three-dimensional contribution enables cork to stand out as one of the world’s greatest sustainable raw materials.

In line with its strong environmental motivation, Corticeira Amorim has implemented an integrated production process, through which it ensures reuse of all sub-products associated to cork processing. Everything that can’t be reused is recycled, giving a new dimension to the old saying that «nothing is lost, everything [returns to the production process and] is transformed». In fact, this concept, that is currently the basis of the Circular Economy, has been applied in Corticeira Amorim since 1963, a year in which an industrial unit for the production of cork grains and agglomerates was formed with the objective of transforming 70% of the waste generated from the manufacture of Cork stoppers - until then only marginally used.

The same philosophy to value cork as a raw material motivated the company to develop an unprecedented initiative to recycle cork stoppers, which began in Portugal and has gained popular support in countries over four continents (Europe, North America, Australia and Africa).

Sustainable Forest Management

“Aware of the uniqueness of the cork sector, Corticeira Amorim undertakes the additional responsibility of preserving a unique, precious asset - the cork oak forest”

Although it is not a forest owner, Corticeira Amorim identifies sustainable management of the cork oak forest as a strategic priority. In this context, it seeks to raise awareness amongst forest producers of the need to adopt good practices that improve the fundamental ecosystems services that provide sustenance to the entire population, encouraging good agricultural and forestry practices. It is alsothe first company in the cork industry to hold FSC Chain-of-Custody certificates;


Forestry Intervention Programme

Corticeira Amorim currently leads a Forestry Intervention Programme, developed in partnership between Amorim, forestry producers, research institutions and local authorities that aims to ensure the maintenance, preservation and enhancement of cork oak forests and guarantee continuous production of high-quality cork.

The initiative covers a number of important areas of intervention and is based on the following main guidelines:

  • reduction of the first cycle of the extraction of cork;
  • genetic improvement and vegetative reproduction  of the cork oak tree;
  • setting up a maximum number of trees per hectare;
  • sequencing the genome of the cork oak tree;
  • fighting pests and diseases;
  • fertilization and compatibility of grazing activities.

Various initiatives are currently underway in the Ribatejo/ Alentejo regions (Portugal)
and in Catalonia (Spain).

Strategic Pillars

Economic

Corticeira Amorim asserts itself, every day, as one of the world’s leading companies.

Thanks to unparalleled R&D+i investments, the company has a varied portfolio of sustainable products that are used by leading clients in industries as diverse – and demanding – as aerospace, automotive, construction, interior and fashion design and wines & spirits, which confirms the excellence of cork as a raw material, while responding to key contemporary challenges – benefiting people, the planet and the sustained growth of organisations.

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Social

One of CORTICEIRA AMORIM's core values is human resource motivation and creating the conditions for the organisation's success, alongside that of its employees.

In the area of social responsibility, which encompasses the themes of Human Capital Management and Occupational Health, Hygiene and Safety, CORTICEIRA AMORIM undertakes the responsibility to develop the qualifications and competences of employees, providing them with a motivating, healthy and safe working environment.

 

Environmental

The company's contribution to environmental sustainability includes aspects of Sustainable Cork Management and Energy Efficiency and Climate Change through, on one hand, the promotion of cork solutions and the preservation of cork oak forests and, on the other the implementation of technologies and Eco-efficient products and processes.

Various units are certified according to national and international standards and numerous investments have made it possible to increase process efficiency and improve the monitoring which lead carbon emissions to be reduced while ensuring the reuse of all sub-products resulting from the processing of cork.

Even the smallest grains are used as an important source of energy.