Taylors of Harrogate has announced that all Yorkshire Tea products have become 100% CarbonNeutral from field to shelf. The CarbonNeutral logo is now featured on most Yorkshire Tea products and will be appearing on Taylors of Harrogate coffee products, which are also 100% carbon neutral.
Founded over 40 years ago by Taylors of Harrogate, Yorkshire Tea has grown from a small, regional tea brand to a household name that now makes more than five billion tea bags per year with exports to over 28 countries.
The brand’s journey to carbon neutrality began in 2015 in partnership with Natural Capital Partners. The first step was to work with an independent expert to measure and verify the volume of carbon emitted into the atmosphere by the business, not just in its UK operations, but at every stage of its supply chain from tea bush to retail shelf.
Yorkshire Tea then embarked on a unique programme which supported projects directly within its tea supply chain, ensuring they balanced emissions while also supporting the tea farms and communities on which the brand depends.
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. These trees help the environment by soaking up carbon, but also provide valuable secondary incomes, along with shade and food. So far, this project has helped to plant over 1.5 million trees around the Mount Kenya region with over 4,000 tea farmers.
Alongside tree planting in Kenya, the brand is supporting projects to distribute fuel-efficient cookstoves to smallholder farmers in Malawi. These stoves use less fuel and reduce indoor air pollution while burning just as hot. This cookstove project contributes to balancing the carbon footprint by ensuring trees are preserved and so avoiding deforestation.
As well as offsetting within the supply chain, Yorkshire Tea has made efforts to reduce its carbon emissions overall. These include:
- 100% of gas and electricity at its Harrogate HQ coming from renewable sources.
- Onsite solar panels which generate enough energy to power 80 UK homes for a year.
- Rainwater collection for flushing toilets and zero waste to landfill.
- Working with the Kenyan Tea Development Agency to assess energy efficiency in factories and find way to make savings.
To celebrate the achievement, the company is releasing a social media video which features its illustrator painting a 100% Carbon Neutral version of the iconic Yorkshire Tea pack artwork.
Simon Hotchkin, head of sustainable development at Taylors of Harrogate, says: “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 also 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!”
Tel: Taylors of Harrogate (0800) 328 1886
Published Date: June 3, 2020