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Corticeira Amorim´s stoppers have a negative Carbon Footprint

Portugal 17/8/2020

Results of studies conducted by EY reveal how cork contributes to decarbonising the wine industry

Amorim Cork - Corticeira Amorim's Cork Stoppers Business Unit – has unveiled the results of studies of its 10 main products, which have concluded, without exception, that all stoppers analysed have a negative carbon balance when considering the carbon sequestration of cork oak forests and emissions associated with production of the product.

The studies, conducted by EY, analysed stoppers from various segments of still wines, sparkling and spirited wines. They concluded that 80% of the evaluated products have a negative individual carbon footprint, since the direct emissions from the production process are lower than the carbon contained in the product.

The studies demonstrated the following levels of carbon sequestration for different stoppers:

The results provide relevant information on the environmental contribution of cork products. This provides Amorim Cork’s approximately 19,000 national and international customers with quantifiable information on how to reduce the carbon footprint of their products.

Corticeira Amorim’s Chairman and CEO, António Rios de Amorim, stated: “Corticeira Amorim continues to strengthen the enormous contribution made by the cork oak forest and the entire cork industry, by generating further research in this field. The issues of ecosystem services now launched for public discussion by several experts began to be studied by Corticeira Amorim 10 years ago. This latest study by EY complements and highlights the enormous value of the cork oak forest in terms of sustainability ”.

Conducted between 2018 and 2020, the studies focused on the different stages of the stoppers’ life cycle, using a cradle-to-gate approach, in particular: forestry activities; cork preparation, including transportation from the forest; production; finishing and packaging. In order to ensure comparability with the methodology used in previous studies, the distribution of the product from Portugal to the United Kingdom was also included. The assessment also included additional information on the carbon sequestration of the cork oak forest.

The methodology of the studies conducted by EY was based on the ISO 14040/44 (ISO, 2006) standards, complemented with the guidelines of the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook - General Guide for Life Cycle Assessment - Detailed guidance (EC- JRC, 2010), and was also aligned with the Product Environmental Category Rules (PEFCR) for still and sparkling wines, issued by the European Commission in 2018. Production data was provided by Corticeira Amorim, while the general production processes associated to the production of raw materials, energy, transport and waste management were obtained from the ecoinvent 3.5 database (Werner, et al., 2016). The evaluation focused on a functional unit of 1000 stoppers.