We don’t just talk the talk – we want to walk the sustainable walk. To be a truly responsible business, we manage and measure our environmental impact and strive to minimize our footprint. The old adage “You can’t manage what you don’t measure” is really true in our experience.
Since our beginnings, we’ve been striving to minimize waste, prevent pollution and conserve resources. Working sustainably involves everyone at Traditional Medicinals®, from our sales representatives (many of whom drive hybrid electric vehicles or alternative fuel vehicles) to the operations and quality control folks (who produce our teas at a solar-powered manufacturing plant in Sebastopol, CA).
In 2008, we installed 1,450 solar panels at our herbal tea manufacturing plant in Sebastopol, California. During the sunny months, the solar panels may actually produce 100% of our electricity, and we even send some back into the power grid. On average, our solar panels have generated about 425,000 kwh of electricity annually, providing about 55-65% of our total requirements, depending on the year.
When the sun can’t provide all the energy we need, we offset energy use that is not generated from our own solar panels through an annual purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) which support renewable energy from wind projects.
Our REC provider is the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation. The Green-e Energy Certified RECs we purchase from BEF directly support the development of renewable energy projects designed to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuel-based electricity.
California Certified Green Business:
The California Green Business Program is a government program working with local agencies to recognize and assist businesses that operate in an environmentally friendly manner.
Traditional Medicinals® became California Green Business Certified in 2013. To become certified, a business must focus on environmental efforts such as waste reduction, water conservation, energy conservation, and pollution prevention. We showed that we had taken actions to conserve resources and prevent pollution in both our facility (green building and renewable energy) and our operations (environmentally-preferable purchasing and other practices). Credit worthy action items were verified through onsite assessments by an auditor from the local agency, the Sonoma County Green Business Program.
A lot of companies talk about their sustainability efforts, but our results truly set us apart. A 2012 study by SMI (Soil & More International) concluded that due to our significant efforts in green energy and energy efficiency, the share of energy-related emissions (out of total) is low compared to other comparable-sized companies in the consumer packaged goods industry.
Carbon footprint calculations can be hard to wrap your mind around. A company’s Carbon Footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) and specifically carbon dioxide (CO2) that has been emitted through all activities of the company in the manufacture and transport of their products. By keeping a close eye on our carbon footprint, we can take steps to minimize our impact on climate change.
We work with Soil & More International to help us calculate our corporate carbon footprint. Founded in 2007, SMI developed a Carbon Footprint Calculation model that has been certified by TÜV NORD CERT GmbH, an independent third party organization that is accredited for Carbon Footprint Verification according to the ISO 14064 standard (an international environmental management standard against which greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reports are voluntarily verified).
The methodology that SMI used to assess our corporate carbon footprint was developed by the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as well as the GHG Protocol of the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Both methodologies are based on the ISO standard 14064.