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Corticeira Amorim subscribes to act4nature

25/9/2020

The initiative launched by the Business Council for Sustainable Development Portugal (BCSD) aims to raise awareness and mobilise and encourage companies to protect, promote and restore biodiversity

Corticeira Amorim, the world’s largest cork transformation group has subscribed to act4nature Portugal, an initiative launched by the Business Council for Sustainable Development Portugal (BCSD) that aims to raise awareness and mobilise and encourage companies to protect, promote and restore biodiversity. The commitment is aligned with Corticeira Amorim's mission of adding value to cork in a competitive, differentiated and innovative manner in perfect harmony with nature. The company is committed to adopting practices that guarantee preservation of the environment, assuming sustainability as the basic reference.

Corticeira Amorim’s companies pursue their activities in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and are committed to developing more productive processes and implementing technologies, solutions and actions that encourage continuous improvement of their environmental performance. In tandem with these goals, the group aims to offer a diverse range of products with a smaller ecological footprint. Corticeira Amorim has also been developing a series of initiatives aimed at ensuring the maintenance, preservation and enhancement of cork oak forests and, consequently, the uninterrupted production of high-quality cork.

António Amorim, Corticeira Amorim’s Chairman and CEO, considers that this strategy depends upon “our continued growth, guaranteeing everyone’s safety and well-being, efficient staff management, protection of the balance of ecosystems, and the circularity of processes and the economy, moving towards a sustainable development model and a more cohesive, conscious and prepared society that is able to face the many future challenges with ambition, perseverance and tenacity”.

This task is made easier due to the fact that cork oak forests perform an important role in promoting vital ecological functions - such as soil conservation, carbon storage and water retention. This role is further enhanced by their multifunctional characteristics and biodiversity. Cork oak forests are a biodiversity hotspot, with protection status under the EU Habitats Directive (habitat 6310 – cork oak forest and habitat 9330 (Quercus suber forests) and a priority shelter habitat 6220 (grass sub-strains (Thero-Brachypodietea)). The cork oak forest is an integral part of the Mediterranean Basin - one of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots, as stipulated in the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, in partnership with Conservation International. The Mediterranean Basin harbours 0.9% of all vertebrates and 4.3% of all plants in the world, including about 770 species of vertebrates and more than 25,000 species of plants, more than half of which are indigenous species.
Corticeira Amorim recently commissioned an independent study, conducted by EY, with technical and scientific support from CENSE - Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research, to assess the multifunctional roles performed by cork oak forests, based on four case studies that illustrate specific areas of cork oak forest with good management practises. The quantitative assessment, based on avoided costs, took into account the variability of the capacity to deliver ecosystem services and was based on the different management practices and geographical conditions of the soil and climate. The study concluded that the evaluated ecosystem services of the cork oak forest provide benefits to society that have an average value of more than 1 300 € / ha / year.

Act4nature Portugal is part of act4nature International, a movement that was launched in France in 2018 by the association EpE - Entreprises pour l'Environnement, a partner of BCSD Portugal, through the Global Network of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

In Portugal, the initiative was launched on May 22 - International Day for Biological Diversity,. All companies, organisations and institutions that act in accordance with the protection of nature and biodiversity can and must demonstrate their agreement by subscribing to the commitments, which are available at the website https://www.bcsdportugal.org/act4nature-portugal. The goal is to achieve as many subscribers as possible and expand efforts to reverse the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystems and the services that they provide globally.

About BCSD Portugal

The Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) Portugal is a non-profit association that aggregates and represents more than 90 leading businesses in Portugal, which are actively committed to the transition to a sustainable world. It helps member companies in the journey towards sustainability, promoting positive impact for stakeholders, society and the environment. It has a broad business sector representation and companies of different sizes, from the PSI20 companies to micro-enterprises. The sales volume of BCSD Portugal’s members represents 38% of Portugal’s GDP or €65 billion in turnover, with more than 270,000 employees.

In November 2017, BCSD Portugal published its Charter of Principles, which establishes the main guidelines for management committed to sustainability, encouraging its subscribers to go beyond legal compliance, and adopt recognised standards and practices, aligned with high standards of ethical, social, environmental and quality management in any sector of the global economy.

BCSD Portugal is part of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) network, the largest international organization working in the area of sustainable development, with more than 200 associated companies in different countries and 68 independent organizations on five continents, which together represent more than 20 thousand companies and an international network of partnerships.