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How Pukka is joining the fight against climate change

22nd November 2018

We have joined in the fight against climate change by becoming only the 13th company in the UK to have our climate goal - to be zero carbon by 2030 – independently validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).*

We know from the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that global emissions are showing few signs of slowing and with humanity failing to hold global warming at moderate levels, “unprecedented changes” are required says the IPCC.

Keeping temperature rises to within 1.5°C is, quite literally for many, the only way to live. This demands serious commitment and bold action. It is no use waiting for governments to take action, businesses have a responsibility to act as a force for good and now.

At Pukka, we wanted to set a science-based target back in November 2015 ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, COP 21 so we were committing to reductions in line with what climate scientists are telling us needs to happen. Not just what we think is achievable as a business.

We began by mapping out our carbon footprint, breaking down total carbon output from ‘crop to cup’. Our complex tea production supply chain, with over 90% of carbon emissions outside our direct control, makes our 1.5°C target even more ambitious.

Pukka's carbon footprint

Pukka has now set targets committed to reducing direct (scope 1) and indirect (scope 2) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to be zero carbon in our buildings and vehicles by 2030. We have also committed to reducing indirect scope 3 emission in our value chain (emissions out of a company’s direct control) by 50% from a 2017 baseline.

25% of Pukka’s carbon footprint is in the growing of our herbs and making our packaging. Here are some of the ways we are trying to combat our emissions:

  • Inspired other companies in our supply chain to switch to renewable energy. For example, Infusion, our blending and packing partner, has now switched to renewable energy.
  • Using organic farming methods that reduce emissions and store more carbon in soils.
  • Begun working with our most important herb growers to encourage low carbon farming techniques. Such as, favouring agroforestry, which has better composting, reduces carbon emissions and locks more water into the soil, instead of ploughing which releases carbon from the soil into the air.

  • Running pilot carbon reduction projects in collaboration with suppliers and the communities growing its specific herbs. For example, we are investing in pilot projects tasked with reducing carbon impact throughout 2019 in the field.
  • Monitoring carbon reduction over time, via a field-based app.

Having these independently verified targets help to highlight low carbon techniques and share better practices, offering concrete solutions to our farmers, whilst building resilience in our herbal supply chains.

For us at Pukka, we see setting Science Based Targets as being good for the planet and our people, as the health of us and our planet are intimately linked.

*The SBTi is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and WWF. The initiative defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, and independently assesses and approves companies’ targets.

Meet the author

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Sebastian Pole, Co-founder and Herbal Director

I’m Co-founder and Herbal Director at Pukka Herbs. As well as formulating all our organic products, I run my own herbal practice in Bath which I’ve done since 1998. I’m a registered member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association, Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine and the Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners. All this with the aim of using the principles of Ayurveda (the ancient art of living wisely) to help create positive change and positive health. Inspired by my time in India, I love cooking a vegetarian feast and rely on regular yoga practice and herbal supplementation to keep me well. I am passionate about running a business that inspires positive change and brings the benefit of the incredible power of plants to everyone we connect with. I live on a two acre garden-farm in Somerset where I grow a rainbow spectrum of medicinal and nourishing plants for my bees and family to live from. 

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