Cork is grown exclusively around the Mediterranean Sea.
Currently, the world’s cork-oak forests cover more than 500.000 hectares, spread over the following 7 countries : Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia.
Protection of the Biodiversity :
Cork-oak forests form the basis of a unique ecological system in the world, by promoting the survival & propagation of many plants & animal species :
- 135 different species of plants per km2.
- More than 20 species of reptiles & amphibians, 160 species of birds, over 30 species of mammals.
Preservation of the Environment :
Cork-oak forests …
- Reduce soil erosion and increase water retention.
- Maintain vegetation, even in the most arid areas.
- Are used as a fire shield (especially in France), and replace pine forests.
- Fix carbon dioxide (CO2), the main cause of global warming on the planet.
Cork is a Durable Resource :
- Cork is the bark of the cork-oak; its harvesting does not require any tree cutting, cork is therefore the ecological material by nature.
- According to a study conducted by the WWF in 2006, after each harvest of cork, the bark regenerates. On average it takes about 8 years to do so.
- A cork-oak stores CO2 in order to regenerate its bark. Therefore, a regularly harvested cork-oak absorbs 3 to 5 times more CO2 than when the bark is not harvested, which benefits the atmosphere.
- The CO2 holding capacity of the cork oak forests in Portugal is estimated at 4.8 million tons /year, for a global holding capacity of 10 to 12 million tons.
Cork is a Viable Resource :
- More than 100.000 people depend directly or indirectly from the production of cork.
- From an environmental perspective, the production of cork is superior to all competing materials, which release at least 30% more CO2 than the production of cork.The direct Greenhouse Effect is measurable : the production of …
- 1 Ton of Cork = 2 Tons of CO2 absorption + 1,5 Tons of CO2 emissions.
- 1 Ton of Aluminium = 0 Tons of CO2 absorption + 12 Tons of CO2 emissions. 1 Ton of Polystyrene = 0 Tons of CO2 absorption + 3 Tons of CO2 emissions.