Sourcing sustainable rubber: Veja’s business model to help save the Amazon
Dorothée BAUMANN-PAULY, Justine NOLAN & Andy SYMINGTON
The case study Sourcing sustainable rubber: Veja’s business model to help save the Amazon (PDF) analyzes a transformational business model for sourcing natural rubber, developed by the French sneaker company Veja.
Founded in 2004, the company set out to produce the most sustainable sneakers possible. Their shoes are designed in Paris, but all production is concentrated in Brazil. To be able to source rubber sustainably in Brazil, the company helped revive a traditional wild rubber supply chain in the Amazon. To ensure the sustainability of their operations, Veja tied the payment of premiums to the condition that rubber producers do not advance deforestation. With the premium payments, wild rubber production has become an attractive source of income for local communities.
The case assesses if Veja’s rubber sourcing model economically empowers local communities and enables them to protect their own habitat. The case also discusses if the approach could be scaled and serve as a model for an effective corporate contribution to address deforestation in the Amazon.