Long-term cooperation in Colombia
The economically underdeveloped north of Colombia frequently suffered from flooding and poor harvests in the past due to overgrazing. Since 2011, Faber-Castell has been working with around 50 small farmers along the Rio Magdalena, who are planting over 2000 acres of forest for the company on part of their grazing land in return for a share in the sales proceeds for the wood. The project not only offers farmers prospects for the future, but also helps to support ecological and economic stabilization in the region. At the same time, Faber-Castell has secured a supply of fast-growing wood that is perfect for producing its wood-cased pencils.
Sustainable pencil forests in Brazil
In south-east Brazil, 2000 kilometers from the Amazon rainforest, the Faber-Castell pine forests stretch over a total of 10,000 hectares of former wasteland in the middle of the savannah. The project was initiated back in 1982 to ensure that the demand for top-quality wood can be covered from our own sources over the long-term. Today, almost a third of the FSC® certified forests are not farmed and are left in their natural state. These forests are home to rare species of animals and plants, some of which are endangered. Harvested areas are continually replanted in accordance with the strict requirements of FSC® certification, creating a continuous ecological cycle.
The equivalent of 17,000 football fields
Trees, trees, trees, as far as the eye can see. The Faber-Castell forests in Brazil and Colombia cover 12,000 hectares combined. This is the equivalent of around 17,000 football fields.
As the largest single producer of wood-cased pencils in the world, Faber-Castell needs up to 150,000 tonnes of wood a year. Securing this resource in an environmentally-friendly way is one of the most strategically important goals and one of the biggest challenges for the future.
The Pinus caribaea planted in Brazil is a tree species that thrives on the barren, sandy ground in the Brazilian savannah. The forests in Colombia are made up of Gmelina arborea, which only take seven years to reach their full height. Thanks to their quick and straight growth, both tree types are perfect for producing wooden pencils.
Scientists from the local universities observe and document the ever increasing biodiversity in the Faber-Castell forests. Almost 450 animal species currently live in the untouched forest areas. 13 of these species are classified as at risk from extinction – like the whistling heron.
United against poverty
For many of the 51 small farmers in Colombia, the cooperation with Faber-Castell means secure employment and economic prospects for the first time ever. They are now able to invest in education, for example, to strengthen the communities in the long term.
With the social charter signed in 2000, Faber-Castell guarantees social and working standards all over the world. This includes banning child labor, offering equal opportunities and equal treatment of all employees, ensuring safe working conditions and paying fair wages under humane working conditions. The compliance with the social charter is checked regularly by auditors.
Environmentally friendly products
For Faber-Castell, environmental protection also means looking at the entire life-cycle of a product – from environmentally-friendly development, through to disposal. Faber-Castell products are made from environmentally-friendly raw materials that are low in harmful substances, have a long service life and are refillable where possible.
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