03 / 09


CORTICEIRA AMORIM is a case study in an European Forum on Sustainable Construction

CORTICEIRA AMORIM was invited by the European Commission to participate in the "12th European Forum on Eco-innovation - Scaling-up Sustainable Construction through Value Chain Innovation" as a case study in the context of sustainable construction. CORTICEIRA AMORIM will be involved in the first day of this event, which will take place in Amsterdam on next 25 and 26 April.

CORTICEIRA AMORIM will explain the advantages of an integrated use of cork in the construction and rehabilitation of existing buildings, not only at an environmental and socio-economic level but also at a performance level. A number of cork-based sustainable solutions designed for construction projects, including insulation corkboard reference MD Façade, AcoustiCORK underlayments and Wicanders wall and floor coverings will also be presented to the public as well as AMORIM's supply chain designed so as not to generate waste.

Marcel Kies, CORTICEIRA AMORIM’s representative in this forum, underlines the importance of AMORIM’s participation: "Initiatives like this are essential to raise awareness among construction firms and policy makers of the need to adopt sustainable practices as a competitive advantage. The invitation we have received to present our case in an event of this magnitude is, in itself, an external recognition of the vast potential of cork for use in the construction industry and interior decoration. It should once more be stressed that cork is the only material that combines an excellent technical performance - specifically in terms of thermal and acoustic insulation – with a high wear resistance, anti-vibration properties, a versatile look and many possibilities of application, while respecting the environment during the whole manufacturing process, from cork harvesting to recycling at the end of product life."

The "European Forum on Eco-innovation" is hosted annually by the European Commission. This Forum is aimed at making recommendations affecting Eco-Innovation policies and is attended by policy makers, world-renowned experts and companies engaged in the areas in focus in each forum.

Under the theme “sustainable construction”, a number of measures will be addressed at this year’s forum, which measures will simultaneously contribute to the promotion of sustainability throughout the value chain and the competitiveness of enterprises. The construction industry is currently the largest consumer of raw materials in Europe and produces about 33% of waste per year. This area accounts now for about one-third of CORTICEIRA AMORIM’s business.

Cork and the construction industry

Cork is a 100% natural, renewable and recyclable raw material that is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree without harming the tree. Cork production contributes to the maintenance of cork oak forests, which in turn play a crucial role in CO2 retention, in preserving biodiversity and in fighting forest fires and desertification. The production of cork in Portugal and throughout the western Mediterranean basin continues to be a sustainable activity based on a threefold philosophy: environmental, social and economic benefits.

As far as the use of cork in the construction industry is concerned, cork combines its eco-efficiency with an excellent performance and a wide variety of uses, not only at an infrastructure level (cork used as an insulator or in expansion joints), but also at an aesthetic level (wall and floor coverings in a myriad of patterns, textures and colours) in addition to cork’s remarkable advantages due to its unique properties. At the end of 2010, cork flooring manufactured by Wicanders® was selected to be used in the iconic Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's masterpiece in Barcelona, a choice which followed Portugal’s cork-enveloped pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, the most striking visual element of the building.

CORTICEIRA AMORIM has three Business Units (Insulation, Wall and Floor Coverings and Cork Composites) involved in the construction industry. In 2011 the Company launched BCORK - www.bcork.amorim.com , the most complete website on cork-based sustainable solutions for the construction industry. A wealth of technical information on products and uses of cork is thus made available online.