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The brand started working towards carbon neutrality in 2015 in partnership with Natural Capital Partners. Since then, the brand has worked on projects within its supply chain to support tea farms and communities as well as to balance and reduce its carbon footprint.
Yorkshire Tea, together with The International Small Group and Tree Planting Programme (TIST), encouraged smallholder tea farmers to plant fruit and nut trees around their tea gardens in order to not only soak up carbon but also to provide secondary incomes for these farmers. At the time of writing, this project has helped to plant 1.5 million trees around the Mount Kenya region in partnership with over 4,000 tea farmers.
The brand is also distributing fuel efficient cookstoves to smallholder farmers in Malawi, reducing fuel usage and reducing air pollution, thus ensuring that nearby trees are preserved.
These efforts are supported by other initiatives such as working with the Kenyan Tea Development Agency to assess and save energy usage in factories; sourcing 100% of gas and electricity from renewable sources for the business’s Harrogate HQ; collecting rainwater for flushing toilets and ensuring zero waste goes to landfill; and utilising on-site solar panels which generate enough energy to power 80 homes in the UK for a year.
Each pack of Yorkshire Tea will display a Carbon Neutral logo, which will also appear on carbon neutral Taylors of Harrogate products.
Simon Hotchkin, head of sustainable development at Taylors of Harrogate 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!”
Tom Popple, senior manager climate change and sustainability at Natural Capital Partners said, “Taylors is setting a new benchmark for how to make carbon neutral programmes really deliver value, both to the business, but also to build resilience for some of the communities around the world who are most impacted by climate change yet least responsible. This type of climate finance programme is critical in the toolkit of solutions to meet our global climate goals, transform our global economy and deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.”
To learn more about carbon neutrality and Taylors’ sustainability work, click here.
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