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Corticeira Amorim's operations enable the retention of more than 2 million tons of CO2 per year

Portugal 12/6/2013

Pioneering assessment in Portugal shows positive impact on the environment.

Corticeira Amorim commissioned a study for measuring and independently verifying its environmental carbon footprint according to ISO 14064. The study shows that the activity performed by our company brings benefits to the planet in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, as the amount of CO2 sequestered by the company is higher than that it emits.

Based on the measurements carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers in every Amorim's Business Unit (BU) and independently verified by Deloitte, the conclusion was reached that the business carried on by Corticeira Amorim results in a carbon sequestration of more than 2 million tons per year, more than 15 times the amount of greenhouse gas emitted across the entire value chain.

Nuno Barroca, a member of both Corticeira Amorim's Board of Directors and Corporate Sustainability Board said: "The findings of this study confirm, unsurprisingly, that the cork and its varied uses are excellent green alternatives to non-renewable high impact materials that are used in many different products and applications and that Corticeira Amorim makes a key contribution in rising to the challenge of global warming in our planet caused by high concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere."

Cork oak forests are preserved because the bark of the cork oak is commercially harvested and processed to serve the cork industry's needs. Corticeira Amorim, the world's largest supplier of natural cork products, plays a key role in carbon sequestration, with an estimated ability to sequester up to 14 million tons of CO2 per year.

Therefore, the carbon footprint of Corticeira Amorim and its products has to be seen in a life cycle perspective focused on the entire value chain and hence on the upstream impact of materials used in its products and processes.

As far as the cork and our Company's activities is concerned, the environmental impact of cork oak forests has to be necessarily considered. The sustainable conservation of cork oak forests is ensured, to a large extent, by the business carried on by Corticeira Amorim. It should be pointed out that in 2011 the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) noted that the positive impact of cork stoppers should be considered from a holistic approach, taking the environmental impact of cork oak forests into consideration.

ISO 14064 has been used as the benchmark in this context and, thus, the direct GHG emissions from BUs operated and controlled by Corticeira Amorim, the indirect GHG emissions from sources not controlled by the Company - from consumption of purchased electricity - and other indirect GHG emissions resulting from the company's (upstream and downstream) activities have been duly taken into account. Based on the measurements of emissions carried out in every BU and taking the cork oak forest's carbon sink effect into consideration, one may conclude that the activity performed by Corticeira Amorim enables sequestering 2,028,415 tons of CO2 per year.

Therefore, the total GHG emissions along Corticeira Amorim's value chain are equivalent to less than 6.6% of its carbon sequestration amount. As regards the sources of gas emissions, the indirect GHG emissions across the value chain are the most important contributor to gas emissions (69%) followed by the emissions from consumption of purchased electricity (27%) and fuel used in the activities performed by the Company (4%).

Based on the measurements of emissions carried out by PwC, there is a negative ecological footprint (-1.9 Mio tons of CO2), i.e. the activity performed by Corticeira Amorim brings benefits to the planet in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, as the amount of CO2 sequestered by the company is higher than that it emits.

The findings of this study can be found in the seventh Corticeira Amorim's Sustainability Report, recently published. It has been the first Sustainability Report of the Company to achieve a GRI-checked A Application Level in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3 Guidelines.