Faber-Castell Commits to Sustainability

In order to improve its environmental footprint, pencil manufacturer Faber-Castell is focusing, among other things, on more sustainable materials and the increased use of renewable energies. CO2 emissions at its production sites were reduced by a total of 25 percent in fiscal 2020/21 compared to the previous fiscal year. The latest sustainability report shows that the issue continues to be a top priority at the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-cased pens.

To improve sustainability in the area of plastics, Faber-Castell is increasingly using recycled material. By 2029/30, the share of alternative plastics is to be increased to 55 percent. 144 tons of recycled plastic were used in production in the fiscal year 2020/21, an increase of 89 percent compared to the previous fiscal year, according to the latest sustainability report. The company’s production sites in Germany and Austria manufacture markers that, like their packaging, are made from recycled plastic. Faber-Castell also uses recycled material for the plastic packaging of other products. In addition, the company is increasingly relying on cardboard for packaging in order to successively reduce the use of plastic.

Less water needed

In Germany, the pencil manufacturer has switched mine production to a less water-intensive manufacturing process and in 2021 carried out a risk analysis on groundwater pollution specifically geared to water as a resource. No risks were identified in the process. Compliance with national standards and legal requirements ensures that no water bodies are polluted.

With the use of 87 percent renewable energy sources and demonstrably climate-neutral production using its own forests, Faber-Castell remains one of the industry pioneers in climate protection. Faber-Castell has a company-owned forest in Brazil that covers 10,000 hectares and absorbs 900,000 tons of CO2. Two-thirds is pine forest and provides 86 percent of the wood needed for pencil production. One-third of the forest provides natural habitat for over 700 native animal and plant species, supporting biodiversity in the region. The wood used in addition is FSC or PEFC certified, meaning that all of the group’s approximately two billion pencils and crayons produced are 100 percent sourced from sustainable forests, the company says.

However, the company continues to set ambitious targets: By fiscal year 2029/30, the CO2 footprint is to be reduced by a total of 55 percent (reference year 2019/20). Faber-Castell also wants to be as energy self-sufficient as possible in the future by using renewable energy from its own sources.