ANNOUNCES LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS RESULTS
Continuous Improvement Has Led to Significant
Improvements Across All Impact Categories
ZEBULON, N.C. (October 16,
2013) – Nomacorc, the leading
producer of alternative wine closures, has completed its first full life cycle analysis
(LCA) study on its flagship Nomacorc Classic+ product. The results
show significant improvements across all environmental impact categories
between 2008 and 2011. Reasons for these improvements include a more efficient
product formulation, switching to local raw material suppliers, shipping
efficiencies and greater use of renewable energy sources.
“This LCA study
showcases the steady and remarkable progress that Nomacorc has made to minimize
the environmental footprint of our closures,” said Lars von Kantzow, president
& CEO, Nomacorc. “It also demonstrates Nomacorc’s commitment to understanding and
continuing to address the full range of environmental impacts of our closures
from a life cycle perspective.”
methodology examines a broad range of environmental impacts related to each
phase of production, use and disposal of Nomacorc closures. The study was
conducted for both of Nomacorc’s major manufacturing facilities; one located in
the U.S. and the other in Belgium, in the years 2008 and 2011.
The core LCA study measures the
environmental impacts for every step of the life cycle of a Classic+ closure
from “cradle” (raw materials extraction), to “gate” (the distribution of
finished closures to customers). For
closures produced in Belgium between 2008 and 2011, the study showed dramatic
improvements, with a reduction of impacts ranging from 13% to 92%. The improvements
achieved in Belgium are largely attributable to the company’s purchase of 100%
wind energy to power the facility. For closures produced in the U.S., the study
also showed a strong reduction of impacts of ranging from 10% to 23% across all
environmental indicators between 2008 and 2011.
product is consumed in a variety of different countries, a number of possible
scenarios exist for Nomacorc closures at end-of-life (“grave”), including
incineration, landfilling and recycling. Therefore, rather than including
end-of-life in the core study, this study tests three different potential
end-of-life paths in a sensitivity analysis.
“The sensitivity analysis enables us
to understand the environmental impacts associated with each potential end-of-life
path and to quantify the environmental benefits from recycling, which was shown
to be the most preferable end-of-life option for Nomacorc closures,” said Dr.
Olav Aagaard, Nomacorc’s principal scientist.
Over the past several years Nomacorc has
worked to build supplemental recycling programs for wine closures. Recycling
programs are currently available in France and the Western United States, and
the company plans to expand to other geographical regions in the coming years. “This
study further substantiates our continued efforts to expand our regionalized
retail recycling programs around the world, and it’s something that the entire
industry should collaborate and improve upon,” said Dr. Aagaard.
The LCA study also provides
recommendations for future sustainability improvements on Nomacorc’s product
lines, including continuing to increase the use of renewable energy and
minimizing ancillary packaging where possible.
Nomacorc is committed to continuing to
measure, improve and communicate the company’s sustainability performance. In
2012, Nomacorc installed solar panels at its North Carolina facility and released its first annual
Corporate Social Responsibility report, disclosing the company’s overall
performance on economic, environmental and social sustainability measures for
the year 2011. And earlier this year,
Nomacorc announced the development of the world’s
first zero carbon footprint wine closure, Select® Bio. Made with
plant-based biopolymers derived from sugar cane, the Select Bio Series will be commercially available for the 2014 bottling season.
For more information about Nomacorc’s sustainability progress and
objectives, or to view the executive summary of the LCA report, visit http://www.nomacorc.com/nomacorc-sustainability.php.
Nomacorc is a
worldwide leader in wine closures and the No. 1 closure brand for still wines
in many countries including France, Germany and the United States. Dedicated to
technological innovation, Nomacorc manufactures its portfolio of products using
a patented co-extrusion process. As a result, Nomacorc closures provide
consistent, predictable oxygen management and protect against off-flavors due
to oxidation, reduction or cork taint. Nomacorc’s 100 percent recyclable
products are available through a vast network of distributors and sales agents
on six continents. With 500 employees worldwide and state-of-the-art
manufacturing facilities in the United States, Belgium, China and Argentina,
Nomacorc produces more than 2 billion closures annually. Working with renowned
wine research institutes worldwide, the company leads the wine closure industry
in fundamental and applied research into oxygen management in wine. For more
information, visit nomacorc.com or follow Nomacorc on Twitter (@Nomacorc)
and Facebook (Nomacorc).