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The environmental record and initiatives of the world’s leading manufacturer of natural cork products, Amorim, have been highlighted in the company’s fifth Sustainability Report.
The report focuses on the 2010 calendar year, during which Amorim achieved a record annual sales result in its core business, selling more than 3 billion cork wine stoppers worldwide.
Amorim continues to set the pace in the cork industry on sustainability issues and is the only company in the sector that provides comprehensive details of its environmental credentials through an annual report.
The highlights in Amorim’s 2010 Sustainability Report include an increase in cork stopper recycling, broadening the reach of a forestry technical advisory service, building on the number of business units with Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) accreditation, drawing heavily on renewable energy for cork production and promoting environmental awareness through education.
“Humanity has never been more aware of the environmental problems that can result from consumer choices and this has led to wide recognition of the importance of natural and renewable products and the value of protecting ecosystems,” said Corticeira Amorim chairman and CEO António Amorim.
“In 2010 Amorim’s cork products achieved an unprecedented level of recognition and the company strengthened its global position as a leading provider of high quality solutions that meet the technical and environmental challenges of a wide range of industry sectors.
“Amorim’s business activities have been driven by our customers’ appreciation of the economic, social and environmental advantages of using cork. We believe strongly in this natural and renewable raw material and in our goal of making business practices that contribute to sustainable development a positive factor of differentiation.”
As with its previous sustainability reports, the latest edition explains the company’s best practice in sustainable cork manufacturing, highlights the major results achieved during 2010 and outlines initiatives implemented by Amorim during the year. Some of these initiatives were:
FSC® forest management certification
Amorim is one of the major promoters of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) forest management certification system. In 2010 continued its program of implementing FSC® certification at its business units and now has 14 units holding FSC® chain of custody certification.
Business & Biodiversity Initiative
As part of the European Business & Biodiversity Initiative, a forestry technical advisory service to support best practice in the management of cork oak forests and associated biodiversity. The reach of this program doubled in 2010 with the service covering an additional 8,500 hectares. Additionally, two researchers were presented with an Amorim sponsored award for the “Enhancement of the Value and Sustainability of Cork Oaks and Associated Biodiversity”.
Cork stopper recycling
Amorim recycled 172 tonnes of cork stoppers (more than 38 million stoppers) in 2010. This was an 87 per cent increase on the 92 tonnes recycled in 2009. Through recycling programs implemented and supported by Amorim, cork stoppers are being used in the manufacture of other value-added cork products and income from cork recycling is supporting cork oak reforestation programs.
Combating global warming
Cork oak forests play an important role in carbon sequestration and, as such, in the fight against global warming. As the world leader in the cork sector, Amorim is aware of the role it plays in making cork oak ecosystems viable. Amorim’s contribution includes affirming cork solutions, developing cork oak forests and striving to improve its performance in terms of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. Amorim continues to draw heavily on renewable energy with 63 per cent of its energy needs derived from biomass.
Amorim’s commitment to innovation is highlighted by its annual investment of 5 million euros in innovation, research and development. In 2010 Amorim filed another new patent application taking to 18 the number of patents filed in the past four years.
Cork forest ecosystem assessmentAs part of a partnership between Amorim and the European Cork Federation, an innovative study was commissioned to assess the full benefits of cork oak plantations at a local level. The results demonstrate the fundamental importance of these plantations, especially when compared with other ways of using the land, and provide invaluable information to forest owners on the effects of managing ecosystems.
Natural Choice program
To raise the environmental awareness of employees and society, Amorim conducts the Natural Choice program. In 2010 this program appointed 100 sustainability ambassadors, engaged 2000 students in environmental education activities and promoted sustainable living practices to 2300 employees. Through this program Amorim employees also collected 1600 kg of cork stoppers for recycling and actively participated in the Clean Portugal Project.
During 2010 Amorim’s environmental practices were acknowledged by The Drinks Business — the UK’s most prestigious wine and beverage sector publication — with an ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainability Award’ at the Drinks Business Green Awards. Additionally, the Corksorb range of absorbent products won Portugal’s 2010 National Environmental Innovation Award.
A full copy of the 2010 Amorim Sustainability Report is available at:
Corticeira Amorim supports exhibition "Eduardo Souto de Moura - Contests"08/06/2011
"Eduardo Souto de Moura - Contests": this exhibition showcasing 50 works by this prestigious Portuguese architect will be on display until September 9th at the Exhibition Gallery of the School of Architecture - Oporto University (“FAUP”).
This exhibition dedicated to the work of FAUP’s former student and current professor - Eduardo Souto de Moura -, who was awarded the 2011 Pritzker Prize by the Hyatt Foundation will be supported by Corticeira Amorim and will be held at the FAUP.
The exhibition will open on June 9 at 18:30 and will be marked by a conference of Eduardo Souto de Moura to be held at the Fernando Távora Auditorium (FAUP).
"Eduardo Souto de Moura - Contests": 50 works designed for architectural competitions over the past 31 years (between 1979 and 2010) will be on display.
As mentioned by Francisco Barata (Professor at the FAUP) and André Campos (Architect), Commissioners for the Exhibition, this show will display "a working method supporting the design proposal (program, materials, location, history, references, sketches, models , exact drawings, photomontages, photographs, customer). This is basically a sophisticated architecture combining conceptual rigour and dedication with commitment, as a scientist who pursues a solution or an artist who knows the way he does not want to go."
Having been invited in 2010 to participate in this exhibition, Corticeira Amorim has joined this initiative implemented by one of the most prestigious schools of architecture, whose objective is to give both current and future architects as well as the general public, a perspective of the work of one of the most famous contemporary architects.
Corticeira Amorim provides several innovative products and solutions for the construction industry and believes that this will also be an opportunity to increase public awareness of cork’s uses on both a functional and aesthetic level.
It should be noted that cork has been used in major architectural projects including the Portugal Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo, the Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia and the Pavilion of Portugal in Hannover, in this last case, a choice by Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto de Moura.
No screwcaps: an artist’s view01/04/2011
An artist and restaurateur based at St Thomas on the US Virgin Islands is protesting against the use of alternative wine closures through his art.
Tony Romano has presented a series of artworks compiled over three years in an exhibition he calls ‘No Screw Caps’. The chef and owner of Romano’s Restaurant, Tony Romano became concerned about the use of alternative wine closures and the possible ramifications for the cork industry when suppliers began presenting him with wines that were not sealed with cork. Through his artworks he hopes to bring attention to the issue.
“I have rejected screwcaps from my wine list for many reasons, but would have rejected them solely on the traditional ceremony and romance involved with opening a fine bottle of wine,” says Tony.
“For the 22 years I’ve owned the restaurant, I have encountered an extremely low percentage of ‘corked’ wine. I can assure you there has never nor will there ever be a screwcap wine on the Romano’s wine list.”
The ‘No Screw Caps’ exhibition originally comprised 24 pieces with half of the works oil on canvas and the other half in an ancient sculptural medium comprising encaustic wax paint on wood panel. Some of these sculptural pieces incorporate cork bark and corkscrews.
Many of the pieces have sold, with the remainder still being exhibited including the signature piece that Tony describes as “one of my most important works”.
You can learn more about Tony Romano’s artwork at
Watch the "No Screwcaps" documentary. The story of one mans protest, Tony Romano.
Grammy Awards embrace natural cork15/02/2011
In keeping with a commitment to develop its sustainability initiatives, events at the 2011 Grammy Awards served wine sealed exclusively with natural cork.
And ReCORK by Amorim, the US recycling program of the world leader in wine stoppers, has arranged the recycling of all natural corks extracted at the events. The partnership with the Grammy Awards was developed through 100% Cork, a campaign funded by the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR) and the USbased Cork Quality Council to educate consumers about the benefits of choosing wine with real cork stoppers.
Wines sealed with cork were served at the MusiCares Person of The Year fundraiser honouring Barbra Streisand two days prior to the awards ceremony and at the official Grammy Awards celebration on Sunday 13 February.
Venues for both events were equipped with special cork recycling containers provided by ReCORK. The corks collected at the Grammy events will eventually be incorporated into footwear produced by SOLE, a Canadian shoe manufacturer and major partner in the ReCORK program.
“Choosing cork over petroleum‐based or metal wine stoppers is one of the many small but helpful decisions that consumers can make every day to improve the health of our planet,” said Allen Hershkowitz PhD, a senior scientist at the USbased Natural Resources Defense Council.
“I applaud the Grammys and other high‐profile events that have embraced sustainability programs to protect biodiversity and reduce their carbon footprints.”
Natural cork is one of the world’s most sustainable products. Renewable, biodegradable and recyclable, its use provides an economic incentive to preserve vast cork oak forests in the Mediterranean Basin that trap greenhouse
gases, prevent desertification and provide habitat for hundreds of plant and animal species.
ReCORK by Amorim is a natural wine cork recycling program that has collected over 14 million corks since its inception in 2007 and, in partnership with SOLE, has sponsored the planting of nearly 4500 cork oak trees. ReCORK’s goal is to recycle corks and to educate and inform its audiences about the crucial role cork forests play in curbing climate change.
The program has recycling partnerships with many familiar names in the US wine, hospitality and retail markets and each year enters into a number of eventbased partnerships such as the association with the 2011 Grammy Awards.
Amorim helps preserve 200-year-old champagne24/11/2010
The world’s leading cork producer, Amorim, has played a major role in the preservation of the 200-year-old champagne discovered off the coast of the Åland archipelago (between Sweden and Finland) earlier this year.
Specialist consultants to the Åland Government called on Amorim to assist in the preservation of the champagne after 168 bottles were recovered from a shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
Two bottles of the historic champagne were opened at a special event in Mariehamn, the capital of Åland, last week (17/11). Amorim’s technical champagne team advised on the complex process of replacing the 200-year-old cork stoppers with new ones.
The team then developed a new stopper made from a single piece of natural cork to the exact specifications of the antique bottles. During this process Amorim’s technical team worked with experts from French champagne house Veuve Clicquot and Åland authorities. The company also provided special manual bottling machines that allowed the recovery team to insert the new corks at a location as close as possible to the shipwreck site. This was considered an important step in terms of minimising the impact the recovery would have on the quality of the champagne.
A small number of bottles have been recorked, while the majority are still immersed under water in a secret and secure location.
“Amorim was honoured when asked to play an important role in the recovery and preservation of this unique champagne,” said the head of Amorim’s technical champagne team, Ernesto Sa Pereira.
“Great consideration and care was put into the development of the natural cork stoppers that are now sealing and preserving some of this liquid history.”
Divers discovered the champagne in July at a depth of about 50 metres in the southern part of Åland's outer archipelago. The ship, a two-masted schooner, is believed to have sunk in the early 1800s.
Initially, the divers took one bottle from the shipwreck and were surprised when its contents were intact. Sommelier Ella Grüssner Cromwell-Morgan tasted the first bottle and said it had: “very ripe fruit, tones of golden raisins and a clear aroma of tobacco. And, despite the fact that it was so amazingly old, there was freshness to the wine. It wasn’t debilitated in any way; rather it had a clear acidity which reinforced the sweetness.”
The salvage operation, which began shortly afterwards, presented a significant technical challenge in terms of raising each bottle from the seabed without major pressure or temperature changes affecting the contents or the
Determining the age of the champagne and its origin has not been a simple undertaking and there is no archive reference of the ship’s origin or sinking.
Archaeologists have determined that some of the bottles come from the champagne house Maison Juglar, which had ceased production by the end of the 1820s. Several bottles have also been identified as Veuve Clicquot from the branding of the corks, which feature a comet.
Experts have been amazed at how well preserved the champagne is — that it tastes superb and has retained some of its fizz after some 200 years.
“It’s exclusive champagne of high class that has been brought up from the depths of the sea,” said Richard Juhlin, one of the world’s leading champagne experts, at the recent Mariehamn event. “The two different types have a nice
freshness and good length in the mouth in common.”
Mr Pereira said the tasting notes from the champagne experts were a tribute to natural cork as a closure.
“The fact that the precious liquid in these bottles has been preserved at the bottom of the sea for 200 years stands as testimony to the unique ability of natural cork to protect the champagnes and wines of this world,” he said.
The Åland Government has announced plans to auction some of the bottles and the prices achieved could be some of the highest ever recorded for single bottles of champagne.
Amorim seals £100,000 whisky10/11/2010
Leading cork producer Corticeira Amorim has revealed that it provided the premium corks used to seal the world’s most expensive whisky.
Only three bottles of the £100,000 Dalmore Trinitas 64 were released last month and two have already been sold to private collectors — one in the US and one in the UK.
Located in the Scottish highland town of Alness, The Dalmore distillery is renowned for housing some of the oldest and rarest single malt whiskies. The Trinitas 64 is a unique combination of spirits from the 1868, 1878, 1926
and 1939 vintages topped up with a vintage from the 1940s. The blend matured for a further two years in a handcrafted 9-litre American white oak cask that was seasoned with rare whiskies from The Dalmore and two ancient sherries.
The packaging of the Dalmore Trinitas 64 reflects the brand’s aristocratic heritage and positions the whisky alongside the world’s most luxurious goods. Three handcrafted crystal decanters were commissioned to house the rare whisky. These were made using hand-blown crystal of class-leading quality. The decanters are dressed with The Dalmore's iconic royal stag’s head, an engraved neck foil and the master distiller’s signature, which were all hand made in sterling silver by award-winning jewellers.
The superbly crafted stopper comprises a rich dark timber, silver finishing and at its core a natural cork body — the top-of-the-line ‘Prestige’ cork from Corticeira Amorim’s Top Series® range.
The bottle is presented in a cabinet that took over 100 man-hours to make. Shaped by highly skilled craftsmen, the cabinet is made from English oak encased in a Macassar ebony veneer. It has a hidden drawer to hold the authenticity paperwork and the key to a unique lock created by London's oldest locksmith Brahma. A scroll tube has been turned out of a solid piece of Macassar ebony and finished by hand with a silver collar in the centre.
“The whole package is an amazing testament to the work of the team involved and you cannot fault the quality of every element,” said US buyer Mahesh Patel who was delighted to get his hands on the first bottle. “But the real prize for me is the whisky itself, and that is what makes The Dalmore special.”
Following its commercial release at the start of 2010, the Top Series® cork closure range has quickly made its mark in the premium spirits market. Earlier this year Top Series® was chosen to seal the world's oldest bottled
single malt whisky, the Mortlach 70-year-old released by Gordon & MacPhail.
Corticeira Amorim’s director of marketing and communication Carlos de Jesus said the Top Series® range was developed to create the highest quality custom-made packaging solutions for the premium spirits sector. The closure range combines natural cork’s performance and sustainability attributes with elegant materials, new technology and cutting-edge design.
“The packaging of the Dalmore Trinitas 64 was important and Corticeira Amorim is proud to be part of this amazing product which has made history in the world of whisky,” said Mr de Jesus.
“Our association with The Dalmore is typical of the strong relationships Corticeira Amorim is building with the world’s leading spirits producers.”