With sustainability, green farming and social responsibility under the spotlight in this issue of WineLand, Amorim Cork stands out as a world leader when it comes to people, our planet and profit.
As the biggest cork manufacturer in the world, Amorim inspires its workforce through cutting-edge solutions, sustainable leadership and an endless drive for innovation. Being the best is an ongoing process and not a day goes by that this industry giant with an annual turnover of €560 million (R8,4 billion) doesn’t think it must do more.
Amorim’s management and employees have a novel approach when it comes to the company’s sustainability footprint. The cork forests are managed by harvesting the cork in cycles without damaging the trees thus making the forest viable and ensuring thousands of people can continue living and working in areas prone to desertification.
Another impressive feat is the eco-friendly processes and practices Amorim, which has been in the cork industry for 145 years, has introduced in all its operations. Visiting its plants in the north and south of Portugal, it soon becomes clear production processes are integrated to ensure 100% use of raw material and reuse of all by-products related to the cork manufacturing process.
These practices ensure more than 60% of Amorim’s energy needs are met through the use of cork dust (biomass) which is a CO2-neutral source of energy. The company’s business activities also deliver benefits to the planet in terms of greenhouse gas (CHG) emissions by retaining 15 times the amount of CO2 emitted across the entire value chain.
Recycling became an important part of Amorim’s business in 2008 when the company collaborated with the national environmental association Quercus through the Green Cork project. Amorim became an example for other countries and today this initiative has been taken on board in Spain, America, Canada, France, Italy, the UK, Australia and South Africa. The recycled products are never used in cork stoppers but get a new lease of life in floor and wall coverings, insulation, sports equipment and even in fashion accessories such as handbags.
Six things you might not know about Amorim
- Amorim became the first packaging company in the world with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification. FSC is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organisation established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.
- Amorim recycled 227 million cork stoppers from 2008 to 2014.
- A total of 60% of its energy needs are supplied by renewable sources.
- Amorim has 34 units with FSC certification.
- Close on 100 000 people worldwide depend on the production and manufacture of natural cork.
- Each cork stopper is responsible for the retention of 112 g CO2, thus combining high performance and sustainability.