The PLEST project was launched in 2015 by World of Thrones. PLEST stands for: Protocol for Legal & Ethically Sourced Timber.
What is the PLEST Project?
Launched in 2015, PLEST is a natural and principled response to the continued widespread and legalised destruction of rainforests around the world. PLEST laid out a set of principles and changes that should be adopted and covers a wide range of areas including: donations, awareness, product sourcing, regulation and ethics.
Why we launched PLEST?
As a manufacturer and retailer of luxury furniture, we feel a natural obligation to ensure that not only are we sourcing our products from sustainable sources, but raising awareness and donating to these causes too. We believe that as a business which is directly involved in the manufacture and retail of products which require timber, we should be at the forefront of change and use our position as a business to create change within and promote change outside of of our organisation.
10 Point PLEST mission
Since its launch in 2015, the Director of World of Thrones has been personally involved in the PLEST project to ensure that it is being implemented and rules are followed. The director set out a 10 point mission for PLEST:
- 1. Start sourcing timber from sustainable, government regulated sources.
- 2. Start a donations program and implement a organisation wide donation policy.
- 3. Educate all our staff about the consequences of deforestation.
- 4. Create awareness outside of the organisation about the consequences of deforestation.
- 5. Engage with charities, NGO’s and organisations that promote anti-deforestation.
- 6. Inform all customers about source of the products they are buying.
- 7. Adopt a company-wide policy of labelling products to ensure they comply with PLEST
- 8. Ensure that our products comply with various international timber standards.
- 9. Identify areas within our organisation which require improvement and change.
- 10. Ensure that PLEST sets a precedent for others in the industry to follow suit.
5 PLEST Programs
5 programs were introduced to ensure that the 10 point PLEST mission is implemented and accomplished. The following programs were introduced:
- 1. Internal Awareness Program
- 2. External Awareness Program
- 3. Donations Program
- 4. Sustainability Program
- 5. Campaign, Lobbying & Promotion
1. Internal awareness program
The internal awareness program aims to create awareness of the facts surrounding illegal logging and consequences of deforestation, whether illegal or not; within our organisation. We have dedicated a huge proportion of our project to the internal awareness program. So what is included in the awareness program?
- Educate our staff about the effects of deforestation and how it affects everyone. We believe that our employees should know everything about the products they are helping to sell and the ethics behind them
- Implement a stringent supply-chain control program to ensure that our timber is sourced from sustainable sources and we are not contributing to the destruction of wildlife or rainforests.
2. External awareness program
The external awareness program aims to create awareness outside of our organisation. Although this is an uphill battle, we believe that our contribution however small, will help to make a difference as we pride ourselves in being a leader in the industry. The external awareness program includes:
- Inform our customers (new and existing) about the effects of deforestation and how we are helping to make a difference. We inform all customers about the source of the product that they are buying. Customers are free to read about the product before making a purchase. We give each product a PLEST rating and customers are free to make a decision on the information we provide.
- Our latest investment: The PLEST online learning program. The learning program is an online program that allows absolutely anybody to access and view. The program consists of various sections and is broken down into a segments to provide a clear understanding of deforestation and its importance to the world. We have a dedicated team that continue to research, update and add resources to the online program on a monthly basis.
3. Donations Program
Donations are a useful and a very powerful way to influence change. By donating to the relevant organisations such as WWF and Rainforests Foundation UK we are helping to make a difference. So how does our donations project work?
- We have assigned this program to the MIF (World of Thrones Foundation). MIF is a self-funded charitable project which is heavily involved in charitable causes. You can read more about MIF here.
- End of quarter 1% donation program: We promise to donate 1% of our quarterly profits to the MIF which will further donate and invest in various charitable causes and sustainability programs.
- We regularly donate internally towards the PLEST program. The awareness program requires regular updates, resources, stationary and training and we regularly put aside a budget (seperate from donations) to cover these expenses.
4. Sustainability Program
The primary focus of the sustainability program involves the timber that is used to manufacture our products. There are 3 focuses in the sustainability program:
- The timber used in the manufacture of our products comes from sustainable (renewable) sources.
- Our products are not manufactured using timber which has been sourced by deforestation and destruction of habitats and nature.
- The timber used in the manufacture of our products has been sourced from plantations and not natural rainforests.
- Reduce our carbon footprint by going digital. By moving our sales systems, documents, data storage and business systems online, we are ensuring a greener organisation.
5. Campaign, Lobbying & Promotion
Last but not least, we have a strong vision for PLEST and believe that without campaigning, lobbying and promoting change, we wont get others onboard. This program focuses on the following
- Regularly writing to influential entities to help promote environmental changes
- Lobby those in positions of power to make the right choices for the environment
- Promote PLEST via various channels to bring other organisations onboard.