For millennia, humans have been spreading out across the land, converting it to pasture, farmland, plantations, homesteads, and even parking lots. All these actions have consequences, but humanity has survived by finding ways to offset these consequences with alternatives.
Before teak plantations were established, the logging for this prized timber was devastating forests in South East Asia. The extremely durable wood is prized for its versatility in boat building, construction, and furniture, and demand was greater than supply, causing major deforestation in its countries of origin. As such, the very existence of teak plantations is the first viable step in curbing the negative impact of the industry.
Teak Hardwoods has ensured that its plantations provide both sustainability and balance. The industry is a monoculture – like sugarcane – with only one species of vegetation being planted on the land. However, teak plantations are an alternative to pasture land and unchecked logging, which are significantly more harmful.
The plantations are also grown in stages, with three levels: newborn, teenage, and mature teak. This means that harvesting happens in stages, ensuring the existence of vegetation in the plantation at all times.
The fact that we must move, work and travel, means our actions generate what is known as greenhouse gases, along with the ever-present carbon dioxide. Together, these make up our carbon footprint. Teak Hardwoods and ECI have opted to offset said carbon footprint generated via monocultural forestry. Beyond its trees’ ability to absorb and store atmospheric carbon – thereby doing a fantastic job carbon offsetting – the company has partnered with ACES Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize.
For every parcel of teak purchased, a portion of the sale proceeds will be gifted to this important wildlife sanctuary. ACES primarily focuses on education and wildlife rescue but has recently begun working on replanting mangroves. Mangroves are one of the most important and diverse plants, hardy enough to survive in saltwater and prevent erosion. Coastal ecosystems are reliant on these magnificent trees, which filter water and air, and are pretty much a coastal “rainforest” with the ability to provide homes and nurseries to a host of creatures.
From inland Teak to island Mangrove, Teak Hardwoods and ECI hope to promote sustainability in a variety of ways, ensuring a brighter, greener future for generations to come.