The cork sector can be an example to follow while helping to mitigate the impact of major global challenges such as the climate crisis or the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This was one of the theses that the director of the Catalan Institute of Cork Foundation, Albert Hereu, moved to interactive virtual business days "The Future of Wine", held last November 26 and 27.
Climate change and cork
Asked how to deal with the climate crisis, Albert Hereu stated that "it is clear that if consumers and society in general are increasingly aware of the climate emergency we are in, we must offer them products that not only don't pollute, but also help mitigate the challenges we face". And different studies show that a cork can retain more than 500 grams of CO2, when a standard glass bottle releases approximately 400 grams of CO2 for its production. In this sense, Hereu assured that the cork sector "is a clear example of a regenerative economic model because it adds value to society and the environment through activities that promote the capture of CO2, the maintenance of forest habitats and the socio-economic revitalization of rural areas". If we think globally, there are 2.1 million hectares of cork forest worldwide and 12 billion corks are produced annually. "If we take an average retention of 300 grams per cork, it would be a global retention equivalent to 3.6 million tons of CO2 per year," said Hereu.
A more inclusive and sustainable economy
The director of the Institut Català del Suro Foundation assured that both the climate emergency and the social and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 show the need to move towards a more inclusive, equitable, socially just and sustainable economic model, which does not seek to maximize economic benefits at any cost.
In this sense, the Fundació Institut Català del Suro has begun a process of accounting for the social value contributed to our environment and of evaluating the contribution of its activities to the common good. "We must place social and environmental concerns at the center of our business model, prioritizing social and environmental impact over profit maximization."
The Future of Wine
The Future of Wine is an international conference of the wine sector that wants to open debate and solve the challenge of how the wine industry can respond to the pressures of sustainability and create business opportunity. In this edition there were approximately 700 people registered from all over the world. Among the speakers, apart from the Director of the Foundation, the top managers of entities such as TESCO, Marks & Spencer, XistoWines, Cadena Zapata, Raeburn Fine Wines, BSI, Snowden Vineyards, DIAM, Vina Santa Rita, Emetry, Smith Haut Lafitte, Chakana Winery, Smith HautLafitte, Castello di Brolio, Raimat, ISEAL Alliance, Vingruppen i Norden, AlkoInc, ChateauLéoube, ConoSur, Torres, TablasCreek, MW, Wanderlust Wine, Unilever, Chateau George 7, Bolney Wine Estate, Concha and Toro,Enotria&Coe, Davenport Vineyards or Fairtra from Africa Southern Africa Newwork.
Hereu participated in a conference entitled "Lessons from Spain: How the wine industry can face sustainability and climate change" where he shared space for dialogue with Marta Terrado, specialist in scientific communication at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and with Joan Esteve , director of Celler Raimat.