As you may well know, last year we became B Corp Certified – yes, we are still thrilled!
Firstly though, what does B Corp, and being a B Corp mean? In a nutshell, a B Corp is a business that puts its social and environmental responsibility on the same level of importance as its profits. This means that we prioritise the well-being of our employees, the communities we impact and the global environment just as much as we focus on profit making. B Corp assess and audit any business that applies to get the Certification across these key areas, however once a business achieves B Corp status, the hard work isn’t done! B Corps are audited every 3 years thereafter, and the aim is to increase your B Corp ‘score’ (more on that later!).
March is B Corp Month. A month of celebrating and sharing the love for certified companies, and therefore the perfect opportunity to give you an update on what we’re doing in these areas assessed by B Corp, and what we hope to achieve. At the moment, we are working on publishing a Sustainability Report in 2020 which will go through our goals in more detail, but hopefully this will give you a good idea of what stage we are at.
B Corp’s are assessed on doing business well and having good business practices. Everyone working at teapigs has their own personal objective focused on sustainability or work within our community – from coming up with new ideas to reduce package waste, to volunteering in the local community – so everyone is empowered to make change, and this runs right through the business. We are constantly reviewing and being mindful of how our business impacts the environment, the people and the community before making any changes – from choosing which office supplies we use to which marketing materials and partners we invest in.
What’s next? This year, we want to achieve our sustainability objectives! Also, we are planning to set up a feedback channel so all teapigs employees can be kept up to date on developments in all things including those relating to our packaging and how we can make our office greener.
We take a huge amount of pride in having a friendly company culture and supporting our employees because, realistically who wants to work in a miserable office everyday!? We work hard to make sure our employees are supported, have access to training and development, as well as a focus on health and well-being, and flexible working options. We are also a London Living Wage employer, so we continually review our benefits package – currently we offer: life insurance, pension schemes, optional private healthcare, regular team socials, stocked fruit bowl, weekly fitness classes and of course – free tea!
What’s next? We have recruited teapig Maria and her role is to continue to promote and nurture the office culture, and HR. We are also planning to increase our focus on training and career development throughout 2020, so that we provide the best platform of support to our employees. Recently, we even did some mental health training with St John’s Ambulance, so we plan to give more focus and get more of us involved in future.
We believe that giving back to the communities that bring us our much loved tea is of the utmost importance. That is why, for each pack of Everyday Brew and Single Estate Breakfast Tea we sell, we make a donation to Point Foundation – a charity which supports vulnerable young people in Rwanda where we source these two teas. What’s more is we match the donations our customer make on our website, and last year we decided we would donate 100% of the money we make from ticket sales to our tea schools to the charity going forward as well. So, if you’re an Everyday Brew or Single Estate tea drinker, or you have managed to get a ticket to one of our tea schools, then you are supporting our ethical scheme…and we thank you! A bit more locally, we like to support our community in Brentford through various projects such as supplying tea samples to school fayres and charity / sporting events.
What’s next? So far, we (and you!) have managed to raise over £300,000 for Point Foundation. As well as continuing this, we want to develop our local program so we can continue to support our local, and global, community.
Tea is a glorious, natural product which means it shouldn’t be tainted by anything nasty…including attitudes! Our tea is always sourced from sustainable, well-run tea estates and we are proud members of the Ethical Tea Partnership – who work on improving sustainability in tea growing regions, as well as protecting the environment around the estates. We are also an approved supplier of the Sustainable Restaurant Association who help guide restaurants in all areas of sustainability, from the sourcing of their products to their impact on the environment.
Further to this, we were the first tea company to be certified plastic-free by A Plastic Planet! Most of our packaging is plant-based, and it is compostable, recyclable or reusable. The best example of this is our tea temples – these are made from cornstarch and can be disposed of in your local council food waste, to be industrially composted. The cartons that the temples come in are FCS Certified and the ink we use is vegetable ink!
What’s next? We continually work towards making our packaging better, and more sustainable. You’ll start seeing our newest packaging changes showing clear guidelines on how best to dispose of it after use, and our loose leaf packaging is set to change soon too! In other plans, we are looking at setting reduction targets for energy and water consumption in the office, as well as working on getting our full range Rainforest Alliance Certified too. Last year, we decided to work towards 100% paperless document signing, and now have milk delivered, and collected, in glass milk bottles.