Pukka Herbs working on improving climate change

Energy & Low Carbon Industry | Food & Drink | South West

Pukka Herbs, an international producer of organic herbal tea and supplements, has joined brands such as Tesco, Marks and Spencer, and Coca Cola European Partners, in the fight against climate change by becoming only the 13th company in the UK to have its climate goal – to be zero carbon by 2030 – validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The confirmation comes shortly after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released one of the most critical reports on climate change in recent years.

With a turnover of almost £36m, the global Bristol-based organisation was founded in 2001 by Tim Westwell and herbalist, Sebastian Pole. Sebastian’s vision was to create a business that lives in a regenerative way and it has since become one of the fastest growing organic businesses in the world, working with over 5,000 organic growers worldwide and selling its 100% certified organic herbal teas, supplements and lattes in over 40 countries.

While many companies are setting their own carbon reduction targets, only 13 in the UK including Pukka have set independent, rigorously verified targets through the SBTi and while the smallest, it joins UK-based, global organisations such as BT, Capgemini and Diageo PLC in the plight to radically reduce climate change before it’s too late. With global emissions showing few signs of slowing and the humanity failing to hold global warming at moderate levels, “unprecedented changes” are required says the IPCC.

Following Pukka’s submission to SBTi in March 2018, the announcement of its verified target follows the IPCC report which called for rapid decarbonization of the global economy to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. It was the most stark warning yet on the risks of rising global temperatures, with international scientists claiming it as the final call to save the world from climate catastrophe.

With the help of Carbon Credentials, Pukka has mapped out its carbon footprint, breaking down total carbon output from ‘crop to cup’. A complex tea production supply chain, with over 90% of carbon emissions outside its direct control makes this an even more ambitious target. 25% of its carbon footprint is in the growing of its herbs and making its packaging.

Said Sebastian Pole, co-founder of Pukka Herbs, on its SBTi validation: “We knew 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.

“As the recent IPCC report tells us, there is now a small window of opportunity. Keeping temperature rises to within 1.5 degrees is, quite literally for many, the only way to live. This demands serious commitment and bold action from everyone, no matter what size their business. It is no use waiting for governments to take action, businesses have a responsibility to act as a force for good and now.”

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