In the 21st century any successful business must be sustainable and contribute to the regeneration of the planet. Existing and growing scientific data point to important environmental and socio-economic advantages of natural cork and cork oak forests in the wine industry. This is one of the most sustainable and responsible forms of cultivation on the planet.
Harvesting for the Future
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.
To ensure that we have a global strategy that is in alignment with other global entities and truly impactful, we use the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the base for our strategy. Every and any action that we develop is associated to one, or more, of the UN’s SDGs.
At Cork Supply we understand that Operations management plays an important role in delivering positive results. In 2012 Cork Supply initiated a LEAN KAIZEN Roadmap towards Operational Excellence. This Long-term thinking is transforming the organization into a LEAN company focused on the principles of respect for people and society, continuous improvement, and process improvement.
Harvesting for the Future – 3P Strategy
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 where we can have a more significant impact.
PLANET & OPERATIONS
PLANET & OPERATIONS
Cork Supply controls vertically integrated operations, from Forest to Bottle, to ensure that its cork closures are of the best quality. Our specialized team of forestry professionals in Portugal work with producers from the main cork oak forest regions in both Portugal and Spain, implementing advanced forest management programs and selecting the best quality raw material for their corks.
We are strongly committed to the use of resources more efficiently, thus minimizing the environmental impacts of our activity reducing our emissions. We have a daily focus on :
- Minimizing the environmental impacts of our activities - the mitigation and adaptation to climate changes, the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems and pollution prevention.
- Fostering a sustainable management of the value chain, which implies the sustainable use of resources.
- Assessing the possibility of implementing environmental improvements, whenever there are changes in processes, people, and products.
Natural Carbon Sinks
“Cork Supply promotes, enhances and enables forests that are important natural CO2 sinks"
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 was a pioneer in the development of rehabilitation plans of producers’ estates to promote cork oak quality and combat pests and diseases.”
Cork Supply is aware of the importance of preservation of cork oak forests. Not directly owning cork forests, Cork Supply maintains close and strategic relationship with cork forest owners in Portugal and Spain, building lasting partnerships based on trust, shared knowledge, and quality.
We consider 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.
Cork Supply is aware of the importance of environmental preservation and commitment to minimize the company footprint. The team continually assesses and improves their environmental practices, so they address both inbound and outbound impacts.
Zero Waste & New Energy Sources
“Zero waste is one of Cork Supply’s sustainability goals.“
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.
Today, 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. 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. We have begun to substitute the use of natural gas and electricity by biomass. The result of this is 535,6 ton of CO2eq 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.
ALTERNATIVE & RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
With the goal of minimizing our contribution to Climate Change, Cork Supply has defined numerous action plans and targets with respect to energy reduction :
- 18% energy reduction by 2024 in the technical cork production unit.
- 5% energy reduction by 2026 in the natural cork production plant.
- Renewable energy alternatives in place at the technical cork production unit by 2023.
- The use of cork dust as a source of energy by 2023.
PRODUCTS & INNOVATION
PRODUCTS & INNOVATION
Adding Value & Quality Driven
We are committed to:
- Producing products that comply with global regulations and are safe for food contact.
- Promoting Circular Economy by using 100% the of the raw material.
- Leveraging the rich and naturally environmentally friendly products our forests provide us with.
- Developing environmentally friendly technologies, processes, products, and packaging materials.
- Producing products that are an added value to customers, meeting real market needs, with the highest quality possible.
- Investing heavily in R&D and QC to give our customers real guarantees.
Our complete portfolio of cork closures results from the efficient use of all cork materials.
The recovery rate of all cork materials confirms the value added to by-products, integrating diverse production cycles (natural corks, discs, technical corks), and demonstrates how we are dedicated to the efficient use of the raw materials.
The result of our carbon footprint study clearly shows the cork CONTRIBUTION TO CARBON NEUTRALITY.
The study shows a very low impact in Carbon Emissions, and when we consider the cork oak forest as Carbon sink System, we can Cleary show that the extraction ok corkwood actively contributes to carbon sequestration and neutrality.
Montado Carbon Sink of 7,7 to 14 ton (CO2)/ ha / year.
The Naturally Sustainable Option
- Zero Waste!
- Use 100% of the raw material we purchase;
- Produce products that comply with global regulations and are safe for food contact;
- Produce products with the least impact;
- Leverage the rich and naturally environmentally friendly products our forests provide us with.
- Promote Circular Economy.
PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES
PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES
Our Employees are our Heart & Soul
Everywhere we set up operations, we look to become an integral part of the community and play a socially active and relevant role.
We know that we can make a difference and we work with that purpose: through the creation of direct and indirect jobs, enhancing local economies, being actively involved in social development projects, and through the environmental management of our activities.
We know that our employees are the heart and soul of Cork Supply’s success. We believe that keeping a health and safe workplace, improving our people skills and education, while promoting a good balance between work and personal life are essential to our strategic development.
The company recognizes the importance of diversity and gender equality, promotes the inclusion and non-discrimination of all employees, regardless of gender, age, race, religion, disability and / or individual sexual orientation, guaranteeing all workers equal conditions and opportunities.
Cork Supply promotes gender equality for every function, including an equal pay policy for equal work. Cork Supply also integrates people with special needs through collaboration with social institutions contracting collaborators for specific functions.
Commitment with Local Communities
We have been collaborating regularly with around 20 social institutions in Europe, in the United States and South Africa.
In fulfilment with out citizenship commitment, Cork Supply continues to promote and support social initiatives, aiming to integrate social responsibility into its culture. Aware that attention to others starts within the organization and extends abroad, social responsibility has been integrated in the Company’s strategy and culture, having contributed to social solidarity actions, Programs and Projects.
Cork Supply Academy
Cork Supply will begin training people, from local communities, in specific jobs/roles that are becoming harder to find experienced people to work in. This enables Cork Supply to pass on industry knowledge and experience, while helping improve unemployment in rural areas.
Zero Accidents by 2025
As a part of our sustainability strategy, we have set a Zero Accident goal to be achieved in 2025. Concrete goals for each of the three years have been created and are aligned with our will to provide and maintain a healthy and safe work environment for our employees.