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Amorim's green credentials highlighted in 5th Sustainability Report

16 Jun / 2011

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:

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