Sourcing sustainable rubber: Veja's business model to help save the Amazon

Why are we doing this research?

This case study analyses 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 study assesses if Veja’s rubber sourcing model economically empowers local communities and enables them to protect their own habitat. The case study also discusses if the approach could be scaled and serve as a model for an effective corporate contribution to address deforestation in the Amazon.


Professor Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, Professor Justine Nolan, Dr Andy Symington, Sourcing sustainable rubber: Veja’s business model to help save the Amazon, Geneva Center for Business & Human Rights, 12 September 2023.

Who is the research team?

  • Professor Dorothée Baumann-Pauly - Zicklin Center for Governance and Business Ethics Research, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Professor Justine Nolan - Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW Sydney
  • Dr Andy Symington - Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW Sydney.

How is this research funded?

The independent research trip was financially supported by the Zicklin Center for Governance and Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where Professor Dorothée Baumann-Pauly is a senior fellow, the University of Geneva, and the Australian Human Rights Institute at UNSW Sydney which supported Professor Justine Nolan and Dr Andy Symington.