About us

Sustainability

As a company with a global scale we have an even larger responsibility to care for the future.

Today, in everything that we do, we are focused on being better in these core areas:

  • People & Communities
  • Products & Innovation
  • Operations & Environment

We align ourselves with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals with the aim of having a better impact on the local communities and economies of the countries we operate in.

 

Download our Sustainability report here.

SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY

SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY

Cork Supply is committed to responsible stewardship of the Mediterranean forests that produce our corks. For centuries, alongside herbs, mushrooms and wild and domesticated animals and plants, skilled cork growers have sustainably harvested cork bark from delicately balanced montado (cork tree) forests, protecting what the WWF has called “one of the finest examples of a system which perfectly balances the needs of both humans and nature”. These stewards cultivated an ideal, renewable resource that supported their livelihoods and market demand without sacrificing their environment or the ability of future generations to follow in their footsteps.

Armed with this spirit of our predecessors plus the advantages of 21st century knowledge, innovation and collaboration, Cork Supply considers it an essential part of our mission to ensure we meet our generation's needs today in a manner that does not compromise our future generations' ability to meet their needs tomorrow.

As a leading supplier of natural cork, we want our customers and consumers to have complete assurance that natural corks supplied by Cork Supply are sustainably and ethically sourced. We consider our proactive role in this area especially necessary because, as the WWF verifies, montado cork forests:

  • support one of the world's highest levels of forest biodiversity, including the highest diversity of plants found anywhere the world
  • offer irreplaceable sanctuary to millions of wintering birds, and vital habitat for a native wildlife population that includes several highly endangered bird and animal species
  • provide an essential, sustainable income source that supports local industry, traditional cultures and family livelihoods
  • function as massive carbon sinks, naturally sequestering and providing critical long-term storage for the dangerous atmospheric carbon greenhouse gasses (GHG) that impact climate change
  • play a key role in critical ecological processes, including water retention, fire prevention and soil conservation
  • defend European landscapes against creeping desertification and consequent depopulation, poverty and loss of vital ecological biodiversity
  • are one of the best examples of balanced conservation and development anywhere in the world.

Cork Supply operations in Portugal — which provide 100% of the natural corks Cork Supply sells around the world — are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Soil Association Woodmark (Woodmark) for making and trading in sustainable corks from responsibly managed forests.

To earn FSC certification, Cork Supply has demonstrated a proven commitment to indigenous peoples' rights, long-term economic viability, sustainable environmental impact and protection of wildlife.

Cork Supply is encouraged in our FSC advocacy, both by steadily increasing consumer and business demand for natural and sustainable products and packaging, and by the increasing numbers of forests and companies undertaking the strict assessment and compliance requirements to achieve FSC certification.

Though demand for FSC-certified cork currently outstrips supply, Cork Supply is working one-on-one with cork growers to increase the number of eligible and certified forests for future harvests.

Protecting the montado and preserving its residents' way of life is more than our priority at Cork Supply; it is our passion. It is evident in every decision we make, every practice we put into place, every relationship we build. Because there's more than just cork at stake in these delicate ecosystems. Much more...

Find out more about these certifications

CARBON FOOTPRINT

CARBON FOOTPRINT

All human activity makes an impact on the Earth's environment. A carbon footprint measures the impact a human activity has on our environment in terms of how much greenhouse gas (GHG) the activity produces, expressed in units of carbon dioxide (CO2). The less CO2 produced by an organization, product or individual, the smaller its carbon footprint.

Cork Supply is working aggressively to meet and advance our own sustainability goals, one of which is minimizing our product’s and company’s carbon footprint. Additionally, as a member of the wine community, our aim is to assist others in minimizing their carbon footprint.

Optimizing efficiencies 'upstream' at Cork Supply that result in positive, exponentially magnified reductions 'downstream' throughout the marketplace, offering products and services that enable our customers to reduce their carbon footprint.

Carbon Footprints:

  • Natural Cork -8,9 kg of CO2 / 1000 unit
  • Micro Cork -2,1 kg of CO2 / 1000 units

Cork Supply has set zero waste as one of our sustainability goals and is proactive in seeking to eliminate and reuse the by-products resulting from our operations. In addition to making energy-efficiency and waste-reducing improvements and investments throughout our operations, we seek to reuse and recycle wherever possible.

Targeting our two main production inputs — corkwood and water — Cork Supply has developed closed-loop systems to optimize material and energy waste in both cases.

REUSE OF CORK BY-PRODUCTS

Cork Supply uses only the finest grades of corkwood for our premium wine corks. Yet, virtually 100% of harvested corkwood can be reutilized. Therefore, at every stage from the forest onward, Cork Supply has developed closed-loop systems to capture all excess and sub-grade corkwood by-products.

With the by-products of our operations, we are able to :

  • Produce technical corks (from the corkwood left-over after punching natural corks).
  • Colmate a natural cork to improve its imperfections (with cork dust).
  • Produce energy (from cork dust).

Cork Supply has installed a centralized vacuum system throughout our production facilities to capture this cork dust before it reaches the air. This also creates a cleaner, healthier work environment.

At Cork Supply We have begun to substitute the use of natural gas and electricity by biomass. The result of this is 5600 tons C02 p/year that are not released into the atmosphere

HIGH-EFFICIENCY USE OF HEAT ENERGY & WATER

Cork Supply has installed a high-efficiency corkwood boiler system that optimizes both heat energy and water usage. After each batch of corkwood is boiled, heated wastewater gravitates to a holding tank, where a heat exchanger transfers the heat energy from the wastewater to a new batch of clean water. Water use is simultaneously maximized via continuous high-pressure filtration and recycling of boiling water through a steam condensation collection and purging system that prevents cross-contamination between batches.

This highly efficient system utilizes 19m3 of filtered water and only 1m3 of clean water. As a result of this we save 1 million kcal p/ day and 95% of water is recovered p/ filtration.

Some examples of initiatives we are undertaking to reduce CO2 emissions include:

>

Optimizing container-load efficiency (via new pallets, packaging and improved load-staging standards)

Encouraging our materials and transportation vendors to maximize use of energy-efficient, clean-air and renewable-fuel vehicles and consolidated deliveries

Encouraging our customers to plan and book orders earlier to avoid airfreight on deliveries

We have begun to substitute the use of natural gas and electricity by biomass in our Technical Cork production unit. Result : 1718 tons C02 p/year that are not released into the atmosphere

Improving waste management by adopting the best end-of-life options known for each residue

Eliminate products that are comprised of single use plastics (ex. Bottled water)

100% of the raw materials purchased are utilized, resulting in zero waste.

PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES

PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES

We take pride in having a diverse work force in our group of companies. Our employees represent a variety of ages, ethnicities, and religions and we embrace all those who share our company values.

As a global company we adhere to each country’s legal requirements, environmental regulations, and labor laws and pride ourselves in providing our employees with a rewarding and challenging workplace while contributing to the communities in which we operate.

The passion, dedication, integrity, and entrepreneurship of the people that we employ around the globe are what truly makes us different and what have allowed us to grow into the company we are today. Over the last almost 40 years of we have grown, changed, and adapted as a company but we have always maintained a firm belief that it is our responsibility to contribute to our communities, both locally and at larger scales.

REUSE OF CORK BY-PRODUCTS

Cork Supply uses only the finest grades of corkwood for our premium wine corks. Yet, virtually 100% of harvested corkwood can be utilized to make a variety of commercial and consumer goods. Therefore, at every stage from the forest onward, Cork Supply has developed closed-loop systems to capture all excess and sub-grade corkwood by-products. We supply these to third-party manufacturers who use them to make technical corks, firewood briquettes and other items of value.

Likewise, a substantial amount of cork dust is produced in making corks. Cork Supply has installed a centralized vacuum system throughout our production facilities to capture this cork dust before it reaches the air. This creates a cleaner, healthier work environment. Moreover, it transforms this waste into a useable material that Cork Supply provides to third-party producers for making colmated corks. In addition to creating a closed-loop process, this increases the value of lower-grade corks that are colmated with this dust.

HIGH-EFFICIENCY USE OF HEAT ENERGY & WATER

Cork Supply has installed a high-efficiency corkwood boiler system that optimizes both heat energy and water usage. After each batch of corkwood is boiled, heated wastewater gravitates to a holding tank, where a heat exchanger transfers the heat energy from the wastewater to a new batch of clean water. Water use is simultaneously maximized via continuous high-pressure filtration and recycling of boiling water through a steam condensation collection and purging system that prevents cross-contamination between batches.

At Cork Supply USA Inc. we use our own cookies, or those of third parties, necessary for our site to function correctly, but we also use cookies that help us to personalize the site and allow us to present advertising tailored to your browsing, both on and off our site. Do you give your consent to accept these cookies?