ReCORK America Adds Another Partner

25 01 2010

NAPA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ReCORK by Amorim, a North American-based wine cork recycling program sponsored by Amorim of Portugal and SOLE of Canada, announced that the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance Board has unanimously selected ReCORK to collect and recycle used and surplus natural cork wine closures from their 100-plus members in Washington state.

To read the entire article click here

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Amorim to help in development of Eco-Airplane

22 04 2009

The use of composite cork materials in ultra-light civilian airplanes is under development and testing through the AEROCORK project. A sum of approximately 1.65 million dollars will be invested in this project with approx. 50% of that amount being funded by the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF).

The group responsible for the management of this investment is made up of Dyn’Aero Ibérica, Corticeira Amorim through Amorim Cork Composites, PIEP (Innovation in Polymer Engineering – University of Minho) and AST (Active Space Technologies).

AEROCORK is producing, testing and certifying cork composites with the intention of replacing synthetic materials with cork composites in airplanes of Dyn’Aero Ibérica. The first flying tests are scheduled for the second half of 2010.

Amorim, the world’s leading producer and developer of cork composites, and the manufacturer of Wicanders Cork Flooring, will be responsible for providing know-how about agglomerated cork that is the most appropriate to the aeronautical applications in question. Amorim is already involved in the US Space Shuttle project, providing cork composites to NASA, and sees this new initiative as an “opening door” for other high technology industries, such as the railroad system.

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In addition to its unique structural characteristics, cork offers undeniable environmental advantages – it is a sustainable, ecological, natural and recyclable material – and will reduce the impact of the aviation industry on the environment. 

We are proud that our parent company is part of this project.

Happy Earth Day to all!

Team Wicanders

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Amorim Flooring partners with Architectural Systems, Inc.

8 04 2009
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Amorim Flooring North America, Inc. has appointed Architectural Systems, Inc. (ASI, www.archsystems.com) as its distributor in the commercial segment of Wicanders cork flooring.   ASI will cover the  Metro New York and New Jersey areas.

asi-a-logo-with-dotsFounded in 1990, ASI has been known from the start for its fresh, innovative solutions for commercial interiors.  Today, the company’s products are confidently specified by the foremost architecture & design firms and installed globally in major retail, entertainment, hospitality, corporate, healthcare, education and institutional projects.

ASI’s clients return again and again for ASI’s extensive product expertise, professionalism, commitment to service, and collective eye for what’s next®, and the ability to find it all in one place.  Founders nancyron3Nancy Jackson (President) and Ron Jackson (CEO) are design advocates who help their clients materialize their vision and have worked with the most prestige clientele.  ASI’s team of experts has been recognized for their involvement in every part of the contract project process from concept to installation.  Their innovative style and established relationships in the A& D community distinguish them from the rest.  Their exceptional knowledge of the industry is known globally and sets trends before anyone recognizes them as trends.

 Architectural Systems, Inc. (ASI), a family business, is acclaimed by the industry as a leading provider of architectural materials including sustainable products.

Amorim’s international flooring portfolio is known for its unique ecological properties, aesthetic design and technical attributes. 

This new strategic partnership reinforces the demand for high quality eco-efficient flooring solutions, and will strengthen Wicanders’ presence in the New York and New Jersey markets.

We welcome ASI to our family.

Team WIcanders

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New Hope for the Montado Cork Oak Forests

6 01 2009

Happy New Year Everyone!

We hope your holidays were filled with love, joy and peace. And lots of “green” resolutions for 2009…

We thought we’d start the year off right by bringing you exciting updates about some of the efforts that are being made to preserve the Cork Oak forests of Portugal—the Montados.

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Cork Oak Tree at the beautiful Alentejo region

Many people still believe that by reducing their use of cork they are helping to save the forests, when in fact it’s quite the opposite that is true.  By choosing cork wine stoppers (instead of metal or plastic) or cork flooring for example, you are creating shared value for the farmers who own the land. You are also helping protect one of the most biologically diverse habitats in the world.

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The Iberian lynx, the world's rarest big cat

If you are a frequent visitor to our blog, you already know about Amorim’s (the manufacturers of our Wicanders cork oak floors) latest initiatives such as Save Miguel and ReCork America. Now, we are pleased to announce a new partnership in Portugal between WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and one of the world’s leading health and beauty specialists.

Harnn & Thann have produced a limited edition black rice soap which will sell for five Euros in their Portuguese retail stores. All proceeds are going to sponsor WWF’s work in conserving Portuguese forests and biodiversity and to the on-the-ground projects that WWF is running across Portugal.

Also, BBC’s award-winning program entitled Natural World recently focused on the wealth of natural history amongst the Cork Oak forests of Portugal’s Alentejo region. BBC’s Paul Morrison, together with fellow producer Mike Salisbury followed a year in the life of Francisco Garrett, whose family has harvested cork for five generations. They learned about the many threats to the region and how, once felled, cork woodland is very difficult to restore because a complex ecosystem such as the Montados takes knowledge and patience to recreate.

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The stripping of the cork bark does not harm the tree in any way. A cork oak tree can be safely harvested up to 20 times during its life cycle, making cork a truly sustainable natural resource.

To quote Paul Morrison:
“There is […] an important reason to insist on cork. Every time you weigh up which bottle of wine to buy, you hold in your hands the fate of one of the most important wildlife areas in Europe.”

Read Paul’s full report here.

If going green in 2009 is a priority to you, cork is certainly a natural choice. So we say bring on the wine (responsibly, of course) and make your home or business healthier and much more stylish by choosing our Wicanders Cork Oak Floors.

Cheers!
Team Wicanders

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A Tribute to a Great Cypress Tree

17 12 2008

Here at the Team Wicanders headquarters, we are in awe of great trees.  Recently, our attention was drawn to an ancient bald cypress tree, called Big Mama, which recently didn’t make it through 2008, as its health had been declining due to boring insects. When other cypresses were showing new leaves in the Spring, Big Mama was barren. Efforts to save the tree were unsuccessful.

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Big Mama is located in a remote swamp about 80 miles southeast of Richmond, Virginia.  Mr. Byron Carmean, the retired horticulture teacher who discovered Big Mama in 2005, says the tree is 1,500 to 2,000 years old.  At 123 feet high and 35 feet around, the tree was declared the state’s largest in October 2005. Surviving centuries of hurricanes, floods, and droughts…we’re reminded of two of our favorite trees, The Angel Oak and The Whistler Tree.

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The Whistler Tree is the world’s oldest and largest cork oak, and magically captures our due respect. It is located in the town of Aguas de Moura in the Alentejo region of Portugal. Planted in 1783, and 225 years young, it was first harvested of its precious bark in 1820 and is the most productive cork oak tree on record.  Still thriving in the Montado Forest—the eco-system which is home to abundant flora, fauna, and wildlife like the Iberian lynx—the Whistler Tree is a wonderful example of the creation of shared value. When nature and man work together to sustain a natural environment and create eco-friendly, renewable products at the same time, it’s a beautiful thing to witness. Those of you who visit our blog know about our beautiful cork oak flooring, which is born of nature, and fashioned in a responsible and sustainable manner for living.

The Angel Oak is another great and ancient tree in South Carolina. Several of our team members are still talking about their emotional visit with this unbelievable tree. We have pictures on our post here.

Fortunately, the cypress is a remarkably durable wood, meaning that Big Mama will likely stand for decades more to impress and inspire children and adults alike. It’s so rare to be in the presence of one of these great trees. We hope you have an opportunity to see one.

Until next time…

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Cork: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

1 12 2008

We have found the perfect gift for the wine-lover in your family!

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Wineopoly! Just pop open your favorite bottle (sealed with a cork stopper of course!) and learn all about wine while playing Wineopoly with friends and family! We love this game because instead of using the regular Monopoly pieces like a hat, dog, or iron, Wineopoly uses grapes, a wine glass, and our favorite- a cork! The cork game piece reminds us of the beautiful Montados where the cork for wine bottle stoppers, and Wicanders Cork Oak Flooring is harvested. If you want to learn more about the Cork Oak Forests, you can check out our blog about the Save Miguel campaign, with a video featuring Rob Schneider.

Speaking of the Montados…Our new friends Chris and Leslie Kehmeier have been bicycling through Europe and made a stop in Portugal! They emailed some of their beautiful photos to share.

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Cork Oaks on the Portuguese Countryside

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A Cork Oak After Harvesting

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Cork Oak Bark

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Cork; Waiting to be Processed

Thanks for these gorgeous pictures Chris and Leslie…We can’t wait to see where your next adventures lead you!

Cork is the gift that keeps on giving. By using cork products, we reduce our carbon footprint, support the generations of farmers in Portugal who harvest these great trees, and help to preserve the eco-system where the trees are grown; an environment that is home to so many endangered animals. What a wonderful gift…

Cheers!

Team Wicanders

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WWF and Amorim are Partners in Sustainable Forest Management!

24 11 2008

The World Wildlife Fund recently launched an initiative to encourage the responsible use of natural materials from the forests of Spain and Portugal. It is called the Forest Trade Iberian Network, and its mission is “to contribute to the promotion of a responsible management of forests, combating desertification and climate changes through a sustainable forest management.”

World Wide Fund for Nature

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Our parent company, Amorim, is one of 17 companies partnering in this inspiring alliance! Amorim is the world leader in the Cork industry. Their many green products include cork rubber, composite cork, cork wine stoppers and our very own Wicanders Cork Oak Floors. Managing the Montado forests responsibly and combating desertification and climate change have been a priority for Amorim for quite a long time, so being a main player in this network was a natural step. You can see the positive effect Amorim and their products have had on the environment in both their 2006 and 2007 Sustainability Reports. The 2006 report was distinguished by Corporate Register with 3 awards, including one of the world’s top 3 in the “Openness & Honesty” category.cork-oak-forest

Because the production, installation and disposal of Amorim’s cork products use far less energy and raw materials than other products, Wicanders Cork Oak flooring is a truly responsible option. Wicanders floors reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the building in which they are installed, because they retain heat. To top it all off, Wicanders Cork Oak Flooring emits 2.5 to 4 times less green house emissions than hardwood flooring, and 6.5 to 11 times less green house emissions than luxury vinyl flooring!

We hope you consider Wicanders Cork Oak Floors for your next residential or commercial flooring project. Take a look and see what’s new at Wicanders in 2009!

Until next time,

Team Wicanders

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