Circularity is the way to go
Most companies try to integrate corporate social responsibility into the way they do business. In our case, it has always been part of our DNA. Since our foundation in 1891, we have been committed to responsible business practices; taking care of resources and people has always been a main priority.
We embrace circularity and respect Today, we have a comprehensive CSR strategy complete with well-defined goals and targets to strive for sustainability in everything we do. The raw material of our load carriers is sustainable timber, sourced from responsibly managed forests. For every tree that is harvested, five are planted in its place. In addition, we have adopted a circular pallet pooling system based on the concept of re-use to minimise our carbon footprint as well as our customers’. Our pallets are collected, carefully assessed and repaired when needed and redistributed until they reach the end of their lifespan. After approximately ten years, they are recycled – and the cycle repeats. Respect is key in our company. We genuinely respect our environment, our customers and all the unique individuals who add to our success on a daily basis. To us, corporate social responsibility is not just another box to check. It is a way of doing business. Each of us – individuals and businesses alike – has to make an effort to reduce our footprint and protect the environment. At the Faber Halbertsma Group, we believe that businesses can thrive while allowing the environment to prosper. With a business model based on circularity, we prove that responsible practices can go hand in hand with excellent service and top-quality products. We contribute to a sustainable world We have been monitoring our sustainability performance since 2017. Every year, we carefully set our goals for the coming period to continue improving our track record. Circularity is the common thread in our sustainability strategy – it is what binds us and defines us as a group. Through responsible forestry and recycling, we want to protect the resources we all rely on. Our sustainability strategy is aligned with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda of the United Nations; the goals and targets that address global challenges and aim at a better and more sustainable future for all. We actively contribute to five global Sustainable Development Goals:
SDG 3: Good health and well-being Health is essential for sustainable development, both physical health and mental well-being. To contribute to the health of our family members, we have a dedicated human resource management program, we participate in running contests, provide fresh fruit at work and organise sports activities and boot camps on a regular basis. We also facilitate teleworking and working from home for those who can. SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth Everyone who can work must get the opportunity to do so under good working conditions, which in its turn stimulates sustainable economic growth. As an international group of companies, we use specialised ICT tools to support international collaboration, we have a talent management program in place and have launched a project dedicated to sustainable employment in the wood industry. We also pay attention to ergonomics in the workplace, climate and air supply systems, self-improvement projects and safety projects at production sites. Additionally, we have created our own version of the Dare to Try Award, encouraging innovation and collaboration among co-workers, and offer jobs to ex-military personnel. SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production Circularity is what we commit to. By providing responsibly produced and circular load carriers, we want to accelerate the transition to sustainable economy and help reduce the climate impact of our customers as well as our own. We not only have strict ethical sourcing policies for virgin wood, but also meticulously assess, repair and reuse our load carriers until they reach the end of their lifespan, after which they are either used as biomass for the heating of our factories or repurposed as floorboards for horse stables. To reduce our impact even further, we use electric forklifts, energy-efficient computers and sheep as natural lawnmowers, and invest in sustainable buildings, LED lamps, solar panels, highly insulated glass and self-sufficient drying rooms running on biomass waste, among other things. But more importantly, our goal is to reuse at least 95% of our products and recycle our waste into new resources to the maximum extent.
SDG 13: Climate action We use wood for the production of our pallets, which is a renewable resource that we source responsibly to produce sustainable load carriers. However, we still rely on fossil fuel for the transportation of our products. Therefore, we commit to optimising our network and looking into alternative energy options. Today, we have set out a European transport network, we have developed our own ‘Green Label’, we have introduced e-Vouchers, we encourage zero-emission transport, and team up with innovative initiatives such as Uber Freight. Here’s just a few of the group’s initiatives to combat the global climate crisis: • PRS Green Label In July 2019, PRS Pooling launched the PRS Green Label, a quality label for businesses that support the circular economy. The new label was quickly embraced by the petrochemicals and polymers industry, a sector that understands sustainability is an absolute necessity. Rinus de Kok, Commercial Director PRS: “We have built ourselves a solid, green foundation, one that drives every single one of us. Whether it’s the people working in the Finance department or those who are responsible for the collection of our load carriers, we all know what we do it for. We share the same passion.” • PAKi e-Voucher The PAKi e-Voucher gives transport companies the option of digitally managing pallet transport and rental services. It prevents carriers from travelling unloaded and helps cut carbon emissions by shortening transport distances. When a retailer issues an e-Voucher to the transport company, the online e-Voucher tool automatically generates a code that provides a unique identification for the specific transaction. For increased flexibility, the e-Voucher is valid for 12 months and can be transferred to third-party PAKi Logistics accounts across Europe. David Mayo, COO PAKi Logistics: “By taking the physical exchange of pallets into the digital world, both transport companies and retailers can benefit from total visibility and immediate stock apportionment enabling more agile and sustainable pallet management.” • Uber Freight The brand-new freight division of digital platform Uber has turned to IPP Pooling to help it cut empty running on its newly established routes. Dan Buczkowski, head of Europe Expansion at Uber Freight: “The partnership between IPP and Uber Freight is a natural fit. Uber Freight develops technology that enables shippers to move freight seamlessly and in real-time, with unseen transparency and reliability. Together, we can address some of the key challenges in the freight industry by improving operational efficiency and making every kilometre count.”
SDG 15: Life on land 90% of the wood we use already originates from sustained forests with PEFC™ or FSC® certification, but we aim for no less than 100%. We have also implemented lean and green techniques to reduce waste and deliver high-quality products and have achieved ISO2009:2015 certification for our quality management system. Additionally, we introduced reusable coffee cups, reduce paper waste with digital magazines and brochures, and have set up a special Faber Halbertsma Group Fund to support projects promoting biodiversity and a greener, healthier environment. The Faber Halbertsma Group Fund, protecting life on land in collaboration with the Prins Bernhard Culture Fund since 2018: • Baarnsche Bomen The Baarnsche Bomen Trust is an initiative of inhabitants of Baarn, a place near Utrecht, who want to create positive, sustainable change. We support them in their mission to inform and educate municipalities about the value of repurposing locally harvested timber into tables, benches, cutting boards, utensils, bowls and more. • Heg-en-Landschap Bemmel Heg-en-Landschap promotes sustainable hazel harvesting. We support their three-year pilot programme to provide nature and landscape organisations with a clear manual on how to harvest and process hazel wood responsibly and repurpose it into marketable products.
• Groendomein Wasven We contributed to the planting of a bird forest in Eindhoven, the size of a tennis court. The urban project provides cooling, attracts fauna, teaches children about nature and is a meeting place for local residents. The volunteer organisation behind the project plans on planting up to 100 tiny forests in the Netherlands in three years’ time. • Urban Street Forest We support the Urban Street Forest in their mission to contribute to healthy, sustainable cities through vertical plantings. The Dutch organisation brings local residents, artists, shopkeepers, entrepreneurs and children together to greenify – and in doing so, revive – neglected urban areas. • Het Wildrijk Het Wildrijk is a small but special forest area of Sint Maartenszee in the Dutch province of Noord-Holland. The Faber Halbertsma Group Fund contributed to the recent revitalisation of the forest and the realisation of a new area, allowing mourning parents to plant a tree in memory of their deceased children. • Faia Brava Côa Valley, a relatively unknown place in northern Portugal, has amazing birdlife and is home to Portugal’s only private protected area, the Faia Brava Reserve. An area where wild nature and wildlife are slowly coming back. By supporting the Portuguese nature conservation organisation ATN to expand this reserve along the river, we contribute to its concrete goal to let large grazers migrate freely along the River Côa over a distance of 10 km by 2025, and its bigger goal of rewilding to restore Europe’s biodiversity.
Our partnership with the Land Life Company Beginning of 2020 we also started partnering up with the Land Life Company and participated in a large-scale reforestation programme in Spain, as part of our overarching sustainability strategy, which focuses on circularity and the reduction of carbon emissions. To ensure tangible climate impact, we committed to plant over 30,000 trees per year in a country where desertification is already threatening one-third of the land mass. Every tree is tracked to closely monitor growth and carbon storage. Through this collaboration, we contribute to Land Life Company’s mission to restore two billion hectares of degraded land worldwide.