Rooted in Sustainability
We are not just in the business of tea; we are in the business of change—changing lives, changing standards and changing the quality of herbal remedies. Our community engagement philosophy requires hard work, but by investing in all of our stakeholders, we are proving that we can successfully help reshape the environment, our people, and the future of our planet.
Being accountable for the good work we do necessitates a rigorous, annual reporting system. For a summary of our most interesting highlights click on the graphic below. For an in-depth look at our sustainability commitment, please download the 2015 Traditional Medicinals Sustainability and Benefit Corporation Annual Report.
We articulated our company values in an employee-led process to connect our founding purpose with the culture and practices we continue to build. Employees identified the following values as key to the culture at TM: quality, collaboration, respect, sustainability, innovation, and humility.
To fulfill our educational mission of connecting people to the power of plants, we launched our new blog, Plant Power Journal, covering topics from herbal education and do-it-yourself projects to inspirational sourcing and social business stories.
We contributed more than $300,000 to nonprofit organizations, from funding the Revive! Project® (in partnership with Traditional Medicinals Foundation) to supporting for Whole Planet Foundation, FairWild Foundation and beyond.
We bought about 150,000 pounds more of organic herbs in 2015 than in 2014. Organic standards are our baseline for ingredient environmental sustainability. Organic certification allows traceability from field to finished product, prohibits application of harmful synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and improves long-term agricultural practices.
We’re proud to stand against genetically modified foods and even prouder to state that 100% of our herbal teas are verified by the Non-GMO Project.
We sourced and bought nearly 250,000 pounds of FairWild herbs—up 35% from last year, thanks to strong-selling herbal teas like Throat Coat® Lemon Echinacea* (with FairWild licorice root) and Raspberry Leaf. FairWild purchases contribute directly toward a premium fund managed democratically by worker and producer stakeholders.
We sourced organic- and Fair Trade-certified green tea leaf from Ambootia Estates in India, whose regenerative agricultural practices capture enough carbon in the soil that the leaf material is carbon-negative all the way to our headquarters in Sonoma County, California. We continue to measure our carbon footprints as we grow our sustainability reporting.
We are proud to have used 100% local, renewable power for our company facilities, from our own solar array and from a geothermal complex in the mountains north of us in Sonoma County. We had previously bought Renewable Energy Certificates to counter our non-renewable electricity use, but now all our electricity spending supports local renewables.
By implementing a third-party logistics (3PL) outbound distribution model for our product shipments, we were able to reduce the number of trucks leaving our factory from 2880 per year to 240, thereby reducing our carbon footprint and making for much happier neighbors.
In FY2015, we increased our solid waste diversion rate to 78.4%, on our way to the goal of Zero Waste Certification. To qualify for certification, companies must first reach 90% diversion from landfill and carefully manage programs like optimized recycling, re-use, composting, and reduction through supply chain improvement.