Environmental Benefits of Natural Cork Closures
As one of the founding members of the CQC (Cork Quality Council) - Lafitte has long heralded the environmental benefits of natural cork for wine closure. 100% natural and biodegradable, cork closures generate zero waste during production and up to 75% less CO2 than synthetic closures such as screw caps, making cork a truly green product from harvesting through to recycling. In fact, cork is a uniquely cradle to cradle product, since all reclaimed waste product can be transformed into new products, such as cork flooring, that can gain higher market value than the original cork closure. Due to this low-cost total recyclabilty of cork into quality products, natural cork remains the most sustainable product for wine closures.
Our commitment to further reducing the environmental impact of our products occurs at all levels of production and continues to improve. In June 2007, for instance, we began to use 100% water-based paint for our tin capsules, a conversion process that began in September 2006 to significantly reduce our use of toxins that affect human and environmental health.
It is an unfortunate myth that cork oak trees are felled during harvest. In reality, cork trees provide a constant and renewable supply of bark for cork products. Once harvested, cork trees regenerate their bark within 9 years on average.
Cork products are not only entirely sustainable, the process of harvesting trees also has a significant benefit for the atmosphere. Harvested cork trees play an important role in CO2 absorption, and therefore controlling greenhouse gases, storing between 3 and 5 times more CO2 than trees not harvested, which is used to aid regeneration.
Responsible forest management is a key factor in cork oak tree sustainability. Lafitte’s environmental vision works to ensure this sustainability.
As part of our ongoing environmental initiative to minimize our carbon footprint in California, we are now using solar energy to power our Napa Valley facility.
With the help of solar power system designer and integrator Akeena Solar and Bank of America Energy Division New Mexico, we have installed a 52.4kWDC photovoltaic system with 262 Kyocera KC200GT solar modules. The new system is expected to generate approximately 75,104 kWh annually, which reduces our annual utility electric expense by approximately 100.0%. Solar electric systems are the most environmentally friendly way of generating electricity. According to the EPA, the clean electricity generated by our solar system will reduce atmospheric emissions significantly - the equivalent of 17.5 acres of trees in CO2 absorption!
To share with you the positive environmental impact our system has had to date, we have installed a solar monitoring kiosk on location, which tracks our solar energy system performance and efficiency in real time.
our environmental vision and mission...
Cork Forest in Portugal
We talk everyday about the quality of natural cork – the ideal and sustainable solution in wine closure products. After 25 years of business in California, Lafitte remains committed to improving the environmental sustainability of our products and operations.
Lafitte aims to be a progressive community leader in sustainable production. We are committed to continuously improving the quality and integrity of our products and services, with an active focus on environmental responsibility.
After harvesting, cork trees regenerate bark within 9 years.
Solar panel system on our Napa, CA facility.