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Kingsley Smythe

Commitment to sustainability

We know how important it is to look after our planet, and we think it imperative that we ‘do our bit’ in operating a sustainable business. Working with the Trees4Trees™ plantation programme, we’ve partnered with local Indonesian communities to renew the environment through reforestation services.

All our furniture is V-Legal certified* with the wood coming from documented legal sources. Through our partnership with Trees4Trees we plant two trees for every teak garden dining set that we sell.

* Indonesian government certification scheme created in collaboration with the FSC.

What is Trees4Trees™?

Trees4Trees™ is a programme running under the Sustainable Green Earth Foundation which is a non-profit organisation.

Trees4Trees™ operates in Indonesia – from where we source our teak and create our garden furniture.  Trees4Trees™ partners with local Indonesian communities to renew the environment through reforestation and offers education and other related services. The great work being done by Trees4Trees™ is funded by a portion of the revenue from every piece of furniture made and sold within the Trees4Trees™ programme.

We really like working with Trees4Trees™ because they are operating directly and effectively on the ground in Indonesia where we have our furniture production centre. They are not some international, top-heavy bureaucratic organisation. They are making a difference to the communities that we actually know of and care about.

How are we contributing financially?

For every order we take, we’ll make a donation to Trees4Trees™ to arrange for two new trees to be planted. By adding just 70p to your order, you can enhance our work by having your very own additional tree planted. Along with your donation, you’ll receive a certificate with your very own personalised World Identification Number (WIN). You can use your WIN on the Trees4Trees™ website to see the location of the tree that you have planted.

What have we done so far?

We’ve been partnered with Trees4Trees™ for some years, but our identification number recently changed so we are only showing as having been a partner since 2020.  That said, we’ve planted thousands and thousands of trees in that time and helped over 35 families.

Why are we not FSC Members?

We often get asked why we are not members of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). After all the FSC is a much bigger and better known organisation than Trees4Trees™ The FSC also do great work in  promoting environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests….and members get to display the well-known FSC logo which a lot of customers look for and feel reassured by.

FSC is a valuable and beneficial approach to sustainable forestry. We applaud their efforts. But we at Kingsley-Smythe have chosen to take a direct approach, by immediately replanting the trees used in our products. This is transparent, easy to understand and connects our customers directly with the trees we plant to ensure that our products are responsibly sourced both now and well into the future..

This type of sustainable forestry (community forestry) promoted by the Trees4Trees™ Foundation directly benefits small land holders, who are basically subsistence farmers. Usually their plots are less than 0.25ha. Certifying all these small plots of land and conducting all the individual surveys and training for each farmer and then monitoring and reporting in accordance with FSC rules  is just not economically feasible. We feel that the approach taken by Trees4Trees™ works much better for our small scale farmers’ forests.  We want to be donating back directly to the local communities that provide our timber and work in our production centres. Trees4Trees™ monitors the wood being shipped in final products and then calculate how many trees are needed to ensure that the forests are being replenished. They then plant those trees – plus 100% extra – to ensure sustainability.

Alongside our work with Trees4Trees™ there is also a mandatory certification program in Indonesia. The Indonesian government requires all wood exporters to have SVLK or V-Legal certification in order to ship any wood products out of the country. Indeed the FSC was hired by the Indonesian government to help draw up the guidelines for the scheme.

So, for these reasons we chose to support Trees4Trees™ over the FSC. Although we know this means we may sometimes lose customers because they don’t see the FSC logo on our website, for us there is a bigger picture; we 100% know that our Teak wood is sustainably managed and legally produced. We have seen for ourselves that our support of Trees4Trees™ is making a real difference in Indonesia to local communities that we care about. We know that we are doing the right things here and we will keep right on doing it – even if it does cost us a few sales because we don’t have the right logo on display.

If you would like to know more about Trees4Trees™ you can visit their website at www.trees4trees.org. If you would like to know more about our work with them please just ask. We’d be delighted to hear from you.

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