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New generation of cork flooring from Amorim with BASF binder Acrodur® is more eco-efficient than comparable flooring
- Cork flooring with Acrodur® better than vinyl tiles and floating wood parquet
- Amorim brands WICANDERS®, ipocork® and CORKLIFE® available with Acrodur ® with immediate effect
- Use of natural product cork guarantees low emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases
The new generation of cork floorings from Portuguese company Amorim manufactured with BASF’s innovative binder Acrodur® are more eco-efficient than all other compared floorings. This was the result of an Eco-Efficiency Analysis carried out by BASF together with Amorim, the world’s biggest producer of cork products. The study compared floating cork parquet with conventional floating wood parquet, and then stick-down cork tiles with premium-quality vinyl tiles. The results show that the Series 200 stick-down cork flooring made with Acrodur® is the most eco-efficient of all products under comparison.
As a water-based acrylic binder, Acrodur® is free of phenol and formaldehyde. The product is contained in the globally marketed Amorim brands WICANDERS®, ipocork® and CORKLIFE® with immediate effect and replaces the previously used melamine-urea-formaldehyde resin. The use of Acrodur® leaves the positive properties of the end product completely unchanged. In addition, the binder significantly improves workplace hygiene during the manufacturing process due to its lower odor and emissions impact. Consumers will also recognize cork floorings made with Acrodur® by a special product logo on the packaging of the above listed floorings. Amorim presented its new-generation cork floorings with Acrodur® at the Domotex trade fair in Hannover on January 12, 2008.
Cork flooring is clear winner in Eco-Efficiency comparison
The Eco-Efficiency Analysis conducted last year looked at a combination of environmental and economic issues. The selected criteria were energy balance, resource consumption, impact on health, and emissions such as greenhouse gases. The analysis confirmed the superior eco-efficiency features of cork floorings:
- Comparatively low consumption of energy and raw materials
- Climate friendly especially compared with vinyl tiles due to cork’s overall lower CO2 emissions during production, use and disposal
- Comparable to lower life cycle costs compared with other floorings: cork’s outstanding insulating properties and its warm surface characteristics not only help to save energy and hence CO2, they also help to reduce heating costs.
Overall, the result of the Eco-Efficiency Analysis shows that, assuming comparable prices for the different floorings, cork floorings perform best.
BASF’s Eco-Efficiency Analysis
Eco-Efficiency Analysis is an important sustainability tool for BASF. It helps BASF and its customers to decide which products and processes are best suited for their applications, both commercially and environmentally. Alongside the use of raw materials and energy, emissions to air, water and soil are also assessed. This means for example that the greenhouse gas emissions of products and processes can be analyzed in detail and different products compared with one another. As the world’s leading chemical company, BASF has accumulated extensive knowledge in the field of Eco-Efficiency Analysis, which is targeted above all at the eco-efficient use of chemicals in the manufacture of consumer products.
BASF has already conducted more than 300 Eco-Efficiency Analyses, many of which were commissioned by customers. Independent organizations, such as the Eco Institute in Freiburg, southern Germany, evaluate the results of Eco-Efficiency Analyses and provide independent certification.
SEEbalance® (socio-eco-efficiency balance) is a further development of BASF’s successful process for assessing sustainability, Eco-Efficiency Analysis. This innovative tool, developed in 2005, adds a social dimension. The company can now not only weigh up the environmental impact and costs but also the social implications of different products and manufacturing processes. Eco-Efficiency Analysis and SEEbalance® are also being offered within BASF’s Sustainability program "Success". Further information is available at www.oekoeffizienzanalyse.de and http://basf.de/success
Amorim Flooring towards sustainability
Amorim’s cork products represent a unique balance between the creation of wealth and the protection of the environment. The cork industry is remarkably sustainable; it takes a natural raw material extracted cyclically from trees without ever harming them, and turns it into high value-added products while promoting the economic and social sustainability of areas at risk of desertification.
Furthermore the world’s cork oak forests’ role in fixing CO2, in preserving biodiversity and in fighting desertification is now recognized as both fundamental to, and a unique example of, true sustainable development. Our products retain the CO2 that otherwise would be contributing to global warming. The CO2 retention capabilities of Portugal’s cork forests are estimated to be as high as 5% of the country’s annual emissions, or 4.8 million tons per year.
Amorim Revestimentos, S.A. is the world market leader for cork flooring, cork products, wood on cork flooring and cork wall coverings. The company has a workforce of 650 in three production plants and nine sales companies, which sell its products in more than 52 countries worldwide. Amorim Revestimentos, S.A. is part of the Amorim Group of Portugal, which has been global market leader for cork products for over 130 years. More information on Amorim is available at www.amorim.com.
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