Yorkshire Tea achieves carbon-neutral certification for operations and products

Yorkshire Tea worked with TIST (The International Small Group and Tree Planting Programme) to encourage smallholder tea farmers to plant fruit and nut trees around tea gardens

Yorkshire Tea, which is owned by Taylors of Harrogate, confirmed that all of its five billion tea bags sold across 28 countries annually are 100% carbon neutral, as well as its business operations.

The milestone follows a give year partnership with Natural Capital Partners, which helped Yorkshire Tea measure and verify carbon emissions across every stage of the supply chain.

A carbon-neutral logo will now be placed on Yorkshire Tea products and on Taylors of Harrogate coffee products which are also carbon neutral.

Across operations, Yorkshire Tea has taken steps to procure 100% of gas and electricity used at its Harrogate headquarters from renewables and install solar panels which produce enough energy to power 80 UK homes annually.

Taylors of Harrogate’s head of sustainable development Simon Hotchkin said: “We’re proud to have achieved carbon neutrality across all our products, but we’re especially proud of the proper way in which we’ve done it, by setting up projects that not only offset carbon but improve lives and livelihoods directly with our farmers.

“We could easily have bought carbon credits from existing programmes, but we decided to create new projects that would provide long term benefits to tea producers. We’re passionate about making a positive difference in the world and this milestone is one of many we have in our sights, we are far from done!”

You’re shouting at carbon-neutral tea!

Numerous bespoke projects have also been set up to reduce emissions across the supply chain while supporting tea farmers. The company has worked with the Kenyan Tea Development Agency, for example, to assess energy efficiency in factories and find ways to make savings.

Yorkshire Tea worked with TIST (The International Small Group and Tree Planting Programme) to encourage smallholder tea farmers to plant fruit and nut trees around tea gardens. This ongoing project has seen more than 1.5 million carbon-sequestering trees planted in the Mount Kenya region while supporting more than 4,000 tea farmers. A project has also been set up to distribute fuel-efficient cookstoves to smallholder farmers in Malawi.

Taylor of Harrogate’s product sustainability specialised Kathryn Patchett was a member of edie’s Class of 2019 30 under 30 group – a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Read Kathryn’s interview here.

Matt Mace

Comments (2)

  1. Ian Lamont says:

    Just wondering how they receive a carbon neutral certificate when the boxes of tea (such as the one pictured) come wrapped in cellophane that can’t be recycled? It seems an obvious negative against the credit they have clearly worked up in the five year programme to reach carbon-neutral in other ways. Some companies are delivering boxed tea to shelves without this plastic wrapping now.

  2. Keith Weatherhead says:

    Are the teabags ok for the compost pile yet?

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