How do you treat the things you cherish? Chances are, you protect them. After all, it only makes sense to look after your valuables and ensure you’ll have them for a long time to come.
That is exactly how cork forests in Portugal are treated — not as an expendable commodity, but as a valuable resource worth protecting.
And that is why, when you choose Suberra, you’re choosing true sustainability. Far from any buzzwords and temporary trends in the green building industry, the harvesting of cork offers an inspiring example of real resource conservation within a rich cultural tradition.
The cork grain that is pressed to make Suberra comes from the bark of evergreen cork oak trees. Harvesting cork does not kill the trees, which can live up to 200 years. Culled by hand every nine years, and the outer bark regenerates. Not just any tree can be harvested, either. A cork oak must be 25 years old before its first harvesting. How’s that for protecting a valuable resource?
Even better, thanks to strict controls over the management of these important forests in Portugal, cork oaks cannot be cut down without permission.
Why are the forests so important? For one, they boast extreme biodiversity, containing a wide variety of plants and endangered species, such as the Iberian Imperial Eagle and the Barbary Deer. And, according to the Cork Institute of America, the cork industry employs more than 15,000 people who convert raw cork into commercial products, plus thousands of seasonal workers who harvest the bark and maintain the forests.
So, how does cork bark become Suberra?
Once harvested, the bark is stacked and dried outside for six months, then boiled to remove any contaminants. It’s no surprise that much of the culled bark is used to make more than 13 billion bottle stoppers each year for the wine and champagne industries.
Residual cork bark is also ground up and processed for a variety of commercial and industrial applications, including being pressed into beautiful, durable Suberra slabs.
Which is fitting, when you think about it: Cork oak trees are cherished by a nation as something imminently valuable, something worth protecting. And now you can have the end result — Suberra, a unique and truly sustainable cork building material we believe you will cherish for a long time to come.