Amorim cork stopper proved carbon negative

An independent study by PWC has shown that Amorim’s Neutrocork stopper is carbon negative, the drinks business can exclusively reveal.

Amorim’s Neutrocork has a postive carbon footprint according to PWC

Following a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, completed at end of last year, and sent to db this week, Portugal’s largest cork producer, Amorim, can confirm that its best-selling stopper, Neutrocork, actually retains more carbon than it releases during its production.

As stated in the PWC report, the Neutrocork stopper’s carbon footprint – calculated according to a life cycle approach – results in a carbon balance with a positive environmental impact, with a footprint of -1.8 g CO2e per stopper.

When considering the carbon sequestration at the oak forest associated to cork production, the results are significantly better, corresponding to -392 g CO2e per stopper, according to the document.

The study takes into account all aspects of the production of Neutrocork, including the emissions related with the inputs materials, the total energy production, packaging materials and transport (see bar graph, below).

In essence, because the cork integrated in Neutrocork stoppers constitutes a carbon sink, which remains integrated into the final product, the production phases of the closure have negative GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions.

Amorim is the the world’s largest maker of micro-agglomerate closures, and currently produces 1.2 billion Neutrocork stoppers per annum.

Neutrocork stoppers are produced using the top quality ‘negative’ strips from the whole cork punching process, together with the natural by-products from disc stamping, which are all carefully assessed during the initial plank selections.

This raw material is then ground down into micro granules and put through the ROSA Evolution steam cleaning machines to remove any detectable TCA or its pre-cursors.

These ultra-fine, sterile granules are then moulded into Neutrocork closures in different lengths. The stoppers are also used for the easy-open Helix system because of their cork density.

Amorim sponsors the sustainability and biodiversity awards in The Drinks Business Green Awards, and provides cork frames for the certificates for all the winners – who you can view by clicking here.

For more information on closures, including the environmental impact of different types, please read an earlier report by db, called Wine Closures: The Facts.

The majority of GHG emissions per tonne of product are associated to the moulding and stabilization process, in AI (De Sousa), due to the impact of the materials used and energy consumption. Source: PWC, December 2018

3 Responses to “Amorim cork stopper proved carbon negative”

  1. If these corks sequester more carbon than they release, they would be considered “carbon negative” as opposed to carbon positive as mentioned in the headline of the article. The definition of carbon negative is the reduction of an entity’s carbon footprint to less than neutral. Another way to indicate this would be to say that the corks have a “climate positive” impact.

  2. Patrick Schmitt says:

    you are absolutely right, and headline has now been changed to reflect your comment, so thank you. to clarify, the closure has a positive impact, but the cork is ‘carbon negative’.

  3. JOAO SANTIAGO says:

    cork is carbon negative by principle! being a bio-resource obtained from the oak cork trees harvesting. Since the trees will live longer if harvested there is a natural climate positive factor associated to the cork use as a natural resource. this study proves that cork is climate positive also, if transformed to agglomerate!

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