Sustainable use of resources

Wood is an essential raw material in the production of lead and coloured pencils. Sustainable use of resources not only protects the environment, but also helps us to remain profitable over the long-term by safeguarding our raw materials and keeping prices stable. In 1992, we also became the first manufacturer in the writing instruments industry to launch environmentally-friendly water-based varnish technology in Germany. In addition to conventional energy sources, the company is increasingly using renewable technologies (e.g. hydropower) for power generation. Waste wood occurring during production is compressed into pallets and thermally recycled if necessary.

Certified raw material wood

Since 2010, more than 95% of the wood used by the entire Faber-Castell Group is certified according to the strict specifications of the FSC®. The remaining wood quantities also come from sustainable forest management, predominantly certified according to the recognized PEFC standard. This guarantees an environmentally-friendly, economically viable and socially responsible supply of wood. 

The Forest Stewardship Council® awarded our forests the ecolabel FSC®-FM (Forest Management) for environmentally-friendly, socially responsible and economically sustainable forest management back in 1999. The criteria for the certification include: 
• Compliance with the laws, regulations and conventions
• Compliance with the laws of the local population, such as ownership rights of the land owners
• Improvement and maintenance of a sustainable economy and the social and environmental benefits of the forests
• Preservation and restoration of ecosystems, including biodiversity and resources

All the Faber-Castell Group’s production companies around the world and all its sales companies have also received the FSC®-CoC (Chain of Custody) certificate. This certification guarantees that the production chain can be traced, from the raw material to the finished product.

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Environmentally-friendly water-based varnish technology

The surface seal of a coloured pencil or lead pencil has a hygienic as well as aesthetic purpose. Without the coating, sweat from hands or chewing on the pencil would cause bacteria to build up on the wood. All wood-cased coloured and lead pencils produced in Europe therefore have an environmentally-friendly water-based varnish coating which contains no organic solvents (acetone varnish). When this technology was launched in 1992, the company set new standards in the field of pencil coatings. 

Benefits of this technology:
• No unpleasant odours at the workplace 
• Safe preparation and processing - improved health and safety
• Active environmental protection by reducing the solvent content to significantly below 8%

Own power generation

1) Hydropower
We cover a large proportion of our energy requirements using hydropower and by generating heat from wood waste. At the site in Stein, we operate our own water turbine, which was renovated in April 2014. In future, approx. 1.7 million kWh of electricity per year can be generated with the turbine depending on the water level of the Rednitz. This covers around 25% of the power requirement at the Stein site. 

2) Wood pelleting plant
We have our own wood pelleting plant at the site in Stein, which is used for the building's heat supply. The waste wood from production is compressed into pallets, stored in the former coal bunker for winter operation and thermally recycled as required. 

3) Further energy generation measures
Renewable and environmentally-friendly energy sources are also used in our other production sites around the world. The plant in Engelhartszell in Upper Austria, for example, is self-sufficient thanks to its own geothermal energy plant and generates 100% of its own thermal energy with a groundwater heat pump.

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