Beginning our carbon neutral journey one click at a time

At Northern Tea Merchants we are passionate about having good relations with suppliers and understanding the country specific environments that all our products are grown in. This is integral to enable us to offer good quality and equitable teas, coffees and cocoa.

It is through this travel that Northern Tea Merchants’ Director James Pogson has seen first-hand the devastating effect of deforestation. This has prompted him to begin Northern Tea Merchants’ journey to becoming carbon neutral.

As part of the journey, we activated a plug-in on this website on Friday 11 June that plants a tree for every order placed. In only a week, website orders meant that we were able to plant 144 trees and help offset our carbon footprint. Thank you!

Here, James explains what the long-term journey to become carbon neutral looks like for Northern Tea Merchants, our suppliers and our customers…

“Over the last 10 years in particular, I have experienced on my travels and seen first-hand the effects of climate change and also, sadly some of the causes of climate change. Whilst in places such as Peru, Kenya and Colombia I have witnessed deforestation projects literally at the edge of some of my suppliers’ land. I have seen vast areas of trees demolished and witnessed empty lakes, which are a very, very grave sight to see.

I have also (completely coincidentally) spoken to various politicians, particularly in Peru, who have expressed their frustrations at trying to balance population growth, housing shortage and commerce, with the environmental aspirations of their countries.

 We are all, as a species, changing the face of the planet on which we live. Therefore, to coincide with our efforts to rationalise and make our packaging environmentally friendly, I am pleased to say that Northern Tea Merchants is now taking its first steps as a business to become carbon neutral.

 There are many businesses that offer assistance towards carbon-neutrality and, after a couple of months of research, we came across a company called C Free.  C Free allows you to truly understand your carbon footprint, learn how to reduce it, and offset the rest!

We have now entered into an agreement with C Free.

The first part of our agreement involves Northern Tea Merchants donating 20p from each web order received to plant trees in Madagascar, Nepal, Kenya and Indonesia. Further details about each site can be found here.

The next stage is data gathering. We are about to start gathering data on Northern Tea Merchants’ energy usage, our delivery vehicles, the logistics of bringing our raw materials into stock, the carbon footprint of the production of these raw materials, business travel, all our internal spending (for instance IT, cleaning products, office stationery and packaging). These calculations will be carried out in conjunction with C Free.

The final step will be to offset our employees’ individual carbon emissions, including their commute to work.

There is much to consider but once we have assessed the amount of CO2 created by all our actions, then we will calculate the cost of planting enough trees and investing in enough of the right types of projects to offset the total amount of CO2 we produce as a business.

In the short term we have activated a plug-in on the website that plants a tree for every order placed. So, please be reassured that every order you now place with us will result in a tree being planted to offset carbon emissions.”

If you are interested in calculating your own carbon emissions, please use the carbon calculator from C Free here.

If you’d like to know more about our journey to using sustainable packaging, you can read about that here