2014 Sustainability Report - Traditional Medicinals
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2014

Sustainability
Report

Rooted in Sustainability

We believe in the power of plants.

To us, they are wondrous and vital resources for our bodies and our planet. Traditional Medicinals was founded on a pioneering vision to reintroduce herbalism in North America. That’s why today, and for the past 40 years, we are impassioned advocates for preserving medicinal plants and supporting the communities that harvest them.

Our innovative social business model is rooted in the sustainable sourcing of over 100 botanicals from more than 30 countries, helping to ensure the survival of healing plants around the world.

For you, this means every product you purchase not only supports your own well-being, but the well-being of our environment and the men and women who gather our precious herbs.

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. By investing in this positive change, we are reshaping the way businesses support our environment, our people and the future of our planet.

 

For an in-depth look at our sustainability commitment, please download the 2014 Traditional Medicinals Sustainability and Benefit Corporation Annual Report.

 

Who We Are

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Social Business

The Revive! Project® is a key social business partnership for Traditional Medicinals, with a focus on reducing poverty and empowering women through organic agriculture. To date, we have invested more than $1 million in the project and Womenserve, a California-based NGO.

California Benefit Corporation

In 2014, Traditional Medicinals elected to become a California Benefit Corporation, infusing our environmental and social values into our company bylaws. Benefit Corporations can legally prioritize values like social justice and environmental activism to protect and support all stakeholders, and not just those who own the company.

Sustainability Education

As herbalists and environmental stewards, it’s part of our mission to educate people about protecting and preserving plants. In 2014, we increased the reach of our Facebook posts focused on sustainability education by 171 percent, generating an estimated 677,000 views.

Certified B Corporation

Traditional Medicinals earned B Lab third-party certification in 2010, meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. During our 2014 assessment, we earned our highest score yet, 134 out of 200.

Adopt an Herb Program

Through United Plant Savers, we’ve adopted slippery elm, a tree native to the United States and Canada and identified as “at risk.” We are continuing our five-year sponsorship of this important herbal source harvested through wild collecting.

What We Do

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Non-GMO Project Verification

We’re proud to stand against genetically modified foods and even prouder to state that 100 percent of our herbal teas are verified by the Non-GMO Project.

Ethical and Socially Sustainable Sourcing

In 2014, Traditional Medicinals increased the pounds of botanical raw materials in both ecological and social sustainability programs by 40 percent.

FairTrade and FairWild Certifications

Botanicals sourced with Fair Trade and FairWild Certification increased 47 percent (by weight) in 2014. It’s one way we’re helping to make the traditions of wild herb harvesting and farming economically viable for the next generation.

Geo-Authentic Botanicals

Botanicals sourced with Fair Trade and FairWild Certification increased by 67% and 26% respectively (by weight). By sourcing certified ingredients in these programs, we’re helping to make the traditions of wild herb harvesting and farming economically viable for the next generation.

How We Work

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Renewable Energy

Traditional Medicinals reached 100 percent renewable energy in 2014. Nearly 1,500 solar panels generate about half of the electricity we need. We purchased Renewable Energy Certificates from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) to offset the rest, which supported the Noble Great Plains Windpark in Gruver, Texas.

Carbon Offsets

We also purchase carbon offsets to account for our natural gas usage and the landfill contributions of our packaging. In 2014, the carbon offsets we purchased helped support sustainable forestry practices with the Big River Salmon Creek Forest Project.

Packaging

In 2014, the weight of all products we sold increased by 25 percent, while the weight of the packaging materials we purchased increased by just 10.7 percent. In addition to using less material, we are always working toward increasing the sustainability of our packaging by searching for biodegradable, compostable and/or recyclable materials.

Transportation Benefit Program

In 2014, 25 percent of our employees participated in the Traditional Medicinals Transportation Benefit Program by walking, biking, carpooling or taking public transportation to work, a 15 percent increase from 2013.