- Cork is grown almost exclusively around the Mediterranean Sea.
- Currently, the world’s cork-oak forests cover more than 2.5 Million hectares
and are 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 and propagation of many plants and 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 and replace pine forests.
- Absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), the main cause of global warming on the planet.
Cork is a Renewable Resource :
- Cork is the bark of the cork-oak tree.Its harvesting does not require the cutting down of trees.
- Cork-oak bark regenerates itself after each harvest.It takes approximately 8 years to do so.
- A cork-oak tree stores CO2 in order to regenerate its bark.Therefore, the harvesting process results in the absorption of 3 to 5 times more CO2 than when the bark is not harvested.
- The total CO2 holding capacity of the cork-oak forests around the Mediterranean is estimated at 10 to 12 Million tons /year.
Cork is a Sustainable 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 the production of all competing materials, releasing at least 30% less CO2.
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.
Cork is biodegradable, unlike other competing materials.
For example, Polystyrene takes an estimated 500 years to decompose.