As part of Bruker's ongoing sustainability drive, employees in France, Germany and Switzerland have launched a campaign to collect corks in support of Germany's Naturschutzbund, an environmental protection non-government organisation (NGO). The result far surpassed the original target, with more than 12,000 corks collected from Bruker teams across France, Germany and Switzerland.
Cork is a natural raw material with unique properties that make it invaluable as a building material, as well as its better known use in the wine industry. Cork is light, waterproof and inflammable and also provides good thermal and sound insulation - all in a biodegradable, renewable and recyclable product.
Newly planted cork oak trees, however, need more than 25 years of growth before their bark can first be harvested, and have a recovery period of around ten years before their next harvest can take place. For this reason, cork is in high demand.
Cork is prized in the construction industry because of its powerful thermal insulation properties. Cork naturally retains heat through trapping air in its cells, to offer an entirely natural alternative to products including glass fiber, mineral wool, and foams or plastics such as polyurethane.
The collected cork was donated to Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU) - an organization dedicated to conservation, including the protection of rivers, forests and animal species. NABU has helped preserve nature for more than 120 years through various initiatives, from raising awareness of environmental protection in schools to collecting cork for sustainable construction.
The corks collected are passed from NABU to Winterhuder Werkstatten - a workshop which offers people with disabilities vocational training and job opportunities - where the cork is processed into insulation granules for house construction. The proceeds from the sale of the cork insulation granules will also be donated to the preservation of bird breeding areas in Germany.
Thanks to all of the Bruker employees involved in this initiative, we have helped make a significant difference both within our local community and to the environment.