The next time you lace up your shoes, you’re running on natural rubber.

Your morning run protects vulnerable forests and enriches smallholder livelihoods in Southeast Asia.


1 October 2022 News

Over 23 billion pairs of footwear are made every year, roughly 3 pairs for each person on the planet. The footwear industry is the 2nd biggest user of latex and the soles of most of the world’s shoes are partially or entirely made from natural rubber. Rubber has been protecting our feet for over centuries now, but you may be surprised to learn that they can save tropical forests too. 

This rubber begins its life under the bark of the rubber tree, tapped by millions of hardworking smallholders in Southeast Asia in the midnight hours. These rubber trees are typically cultivated in or amongst existing forests. Unfortunately, rubber is a material that we can’t simply produce enough of to meet global demand, which places pressures on these forests, the smallholders who produce it, and threatens the vast array of benefits that these forests provide to our planet. 

That’s why PEFC works with smallholders to gain chain of custody and sustainable forest management certification. PEFC certification ensures that rubber smallholders can access new markets by proving to buyers that they sustainably produce rubber and that they can protect adjacent forests in the process. That’s how your morning run can save forests!

Visit to find out more about the many ways that sustainable rubber makes our lives easier and protects tropical forests in Southeast Asia.