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 conserve 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 a general overview of our performance, please download the FY 2017 Traditional Medicinals Sustainability Report, or you can view our Benefit Appendix for more detail.
Our herbs are expertly formulated by herbalists, sourced responsibly by sustainability experts, and tested for quality by scientists. As part of our educational mission, we share plant and sourcing stories in our blog, Plant Power Journal, which we diffuse through social media channels to our growing Plant Tribe.
As a B Corp, we subscribe to and are assessed by rigorous standards of social and environmental performance. In 2017, we were honored as a “Best for the World” nominee and with a “Built to Last” award.
The Revive! Project® is our first social business project to turn into a full-fledged social development program. Since 2009, Revive’s contributions have helped transform senna-growing communities in India. In 2017, members of our team, including TM Goodwill Ambassador Nioma Sadler, went to India to build a playground for one of the five Revive schools.
In 2017, we sourced over 2,000,000 pounds of certified organic herbs (99.6% of our total herb purchases by weight). Supporting organic farming and collection practices is a foundational part of our sustainable sourcing strategy to preserve farm and forest ecosystems.
Adopting the Fair Trade and FairWild certifications helps to empower our herb source communities through customer-supported premium funds, democratic decision-making and fair labor practices. In FY2017, we bought over 750,000 pounds of fair-certified and ethically traded herbs, up 11% from last year.
In 2017, we sourced more ginger than ever before—primarily in Sri Lanka, India and Burkina Faso—which we use for many of our teas. It is now our largest Fair Trade-certified herb, showing a 71% increase in pounds from 2016. This same ginger also accounts for the 23% increase in overall Fair Trade pounds sourced for 2017.
In 2017, we bought 627 tons of certified carbon credits from Ambootia Estates to offset our projected electrical use, gas, and plastic production for our single-serve cups. Ambootia is one of our organic, Fair Trade-certified green tea suppliers in India that captures more carbon than the emissions created from the tea’s harvest, process and shipping.
Starting in 2016, we set a goal to achieve Zero Waste Certification, requiring a minimum of 90% diversion of waste materials from landfill, among other required improvements. In working towards that goal, we improved our teabag production trash bin accuracy from 16% to 95% in 2017, allowing us to divert 76.8% waste materials from landfills.
For the second year in a row, we’ve improved worker safety ratios. By consciously improving our safety standards, our ratio has dropped from 3.10 injuries per 100,000 hours down to 2.13.