PEFC certification allows us to trade sustainable natural rubber in a transparent supply chain
16 November 2021 Certification on the ground
Around the world, people work with wood and other forest products on a daily basis. But what does wood and sustainability mean to them and their sector, and how does PEFC certification influence their work?
In our interview series Meeting our Certified Companies, we give the word to those people, to learn about their views and opinions.
Our latest interview partner is Hans Evers, Sustainability Manager at Weber & Schaer, who told us about recent developments in the rubber sector, and his company’s goal to be a trendsetter.
Can you give us a brief introduction to your company and its position in the market?
Weber & Schaer is a trading company for natural rubber and latex with a long tradition, founded 1844 in Hamburg, Germany. W&S supplies all kinds of rubber and latex materials for several industries, including automotive and adhesives.
We are a family-run business that has been selling rubber for more than 150 years and became one of the largest rubber traders in Europe.
In the context of timber and forest-based product sourcing, what is your goal?
Sustainability is one of the biggest challenges for the international rubber trade.
In a business in which more than 85% of the trade quantity is being produced by smallholders, it is our goal to be one of the trendsetters for sustainably produced rubber by implementing transparent supply chains in several lighthouse projects initiated by us and some long-term partners.
How did you hear about PEFC?
As a sustainability manager I am well aware of certification schemes that prove the sustainability of forest-based products.
I heard of PEFC in regards to rubber for the first time at a workshop in Hat Yai, Thailand, in September 2019.
Two years later, in August 2021, we obtained PEFC chain of custody certification.
What led you to choose PEFC certification?
Vietnam is one of the most important partner countries for us.
When we heard that the Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) was looking forward to achieving PEFC certification, we decided to become chain of custody certified ourselves, to promote this certified rubber amongst our customers.
We saw this development as a game changer, because right now demand for certified dry natural rubber outstrips supply.
VRG’s certification, and the high-quality certified dry natural rubber that will come onto the marketplace as a result, helped trigger our decision.
How has PEFC certification benefited your company, and helped achieve your goals?
Currently we are only at the beginning of our cooperation with VRG, but we are convinced that PEFC-certified natural rubber will help to achieve our goal to significantly increase the quantities of sustainable natural rubber in the market. Slowly but steadily increasing the quantity, year by year.
Photo credits: Weber & Schaer