Back in 2019 we took a big step forward in our mission to become the greenest tea company possible, and became a certified B Corporation - something we’re still pretty chuffed about!
But first and foremost, what does B Corp mean? In a nutshell, a B Corp is a business that takes its social and environmental responsibility and impact seriously. That means we're not just focused on profit making, but we also prioritise the wellbeing of our people, the communities we touch and the environment across everything we do. B Corp assess a business across these key areas and carry out an audit every 3 years.
Given that March is B Corp Month, a time to celebrate and share the love for certified companies, we thought it would be the perfect time to look over the four key areas that B Corp assess, and give you all a little update. We’re currently working on publishing our Impact Report which should be available to read in the next month or so, where we’ll lay out our mission in more detail but we hope this will give you a good idea of where we’re at.
This one is all about doing business well and good business practices. Everyone in the teapigs team has a personal objective relating to sustainability or community work... from packaging reduction to volunteering in our local community – so it runs right through the business. We’ve reviewed and continue to review our processes to make sure that we have carefully considered how we could impact the environment, people and the community before making decisions - from selecting products and supplies to deciding on which marketing materials and partners we invest in.
what’s next? This year we’re on a mission to achieve our sustainability objectives! We’re also planning to make a consistent feedback channel where the team can all be kept up to speed on any developments, and we've also introduced volunteer days for the teapigs team.
We work hard to ensure that the teapigs team are well looked after. We take pride in having a friendly company culture that supports employees through training and development, open feedback sessions, a big focus on health and wellbeing, and flexible working options. We’re a London Living Wage employer too, and continually review our benefits package - at the moment that includes: life insurance, pension schemes, optional private healthcare, social events, and (of course) plenty of free tea!
what’s next? We're increasing our focus on training and career development as part of this. We’ve also recently done some mental health training with St Johns Ambulance and plan to give this more focus and get more teapigs involved moving forward.
We’re proud to give back to the communities that bring us our much-loved tea. Since 2009, we’ve worked directly with the Point Foundation – a small charity doing wonderful work with vulnerable young people in Rwanda (where we source the bulk of our everyday brew). Over the years we’ve supported various projects such as sponsoring students through school & University, supporting people with disabilities in the community as well as establishing a vocational training centre in Mwogo. It’s thanks to on-pack donations, fundraisers, tea schools and your continued support that we’ve recently hit over £500k in donations – which is truly mind-blowing, and something we’re incredibly proud of.
what’s next? As you’d imagine, the needs of the communities we support is ever changing, and as a result we’re moving into a new phase of our ethical scheme, which will focus more on vocational training, sustainable farming and inclusive education, with some exciting projects underway already. Keep an eye out for updates this month where we’ll be sharing more on the work we’ve done so far and looking ahead to this next chapter.
Our tea is sourced from sustainable, well-run tea estates and we’re members of the Ethical Tea Partnership who work to improve sustainability in tea growing regions and to protect the environment around the tea estates. As well as this, we’re an approved supplier of the Sustainable Restaurant Association which helps guide restaurants in all areas of sustainability, from the way they source products for their restaurants, to how they impact society, their employees and the environment.
We were also the first tea company to be certified plastic-free by A Plastic Planet, and almost all of our packaging is made from plants, and is compostable, recyclable or reusable. Our tea temples, for example, are made from cornstarch meaning they can be popped in your council food waste bin for industrial composting. As well as this, our pack cartons are FSC certified and we print using vegetable ink.
what’s next? We're always looking for ways to improve our packaging – last year we gave our packaging a refresh to include clear information on how best to dispose of it after use. We also launched our brand new loose leaf tea packaging. It's now made of FSC certified paperboard, with a Natureflex inner bag (just like the packs of 15!). Work is also underway on understanding our carbon footprint, which we'll be sharing the results of very soon!
We love hearing your feedback too - so if there is anything you would like to talk to us about, feel free to drop us an email here!