It is always my pleasure to report successes and examples of environmental leadership. It’s these inspirational stories that remind me why all of us work as hard as we do. This month, I feature a business rather than a non-profit member in order to give an example of corporate leadership and the impact our efforts. Numi Organic Tea focuses on global communities and a healthy planet, and is a strong leader in its sourcing and production policies. Numi worked with the Environmental Paper Network and used our Paper Calculator to measure and communicate the estimated environmental impact savings from its choice to use efficient packaging made with responsibly sourced paper. For this month’s interview I brought three questions to a spokesperson for the Oakland-based company, Allison O’Connor.
Suzanna [SB]: Thanks for your time Allison. I’d like to start off by commending Numi’s award-winning sustainability efforts. How would you summarize or characterize Numi’s philosophy towards social and environmental responsibility? What are the biggest motivations for Numi to source its tea and packaging responsibly?
Allison [AO]: Thank you! As you know, the message on all of our boxes is “Celebrating people, planet and pure tea,” and that goal really does drive everything we do here. We want to create a healthful product that nurtures people and honors the planet, and for us that means our packaging is just as important as the products it contains – it’s why we not only offer non-GMO teas, but also use non-GMO verified tea bags. Minimizing waste, choosing organic, and offsetting our carbon emissions is our way of doing our best to honor the planet.
SB: How does the EPN’s Paper Calculator help to communicate this philosophy to your customers and clients? What are the estimated resource savings from Numi’s choice to use paper with high-recycled content?
AO: There’s a difference between talking about our sustainability initiatives and actually demonstrating them to our consumers; the EPN Paper Calculator helps us show in concrete, easy-to-follow numbers how much we save with our packaging. Our latest Eco-Responsibility Audit shows that we’ve reduced our resource consumption by about 5,202 trees, 334,560 lbs. of solid waste, and 2,332,740 gallons of water. We’re proud of those numbers!
SB: Our Network is always asking companies, “What’s In Your Paper?” Numi has already taken on this exercise and by doing so has aligned its packaging with its environmental stewardship values. Is there a piece of advice or encouragement you can offer that will help other companies have success supporting environmental papers in the marketplace? Would you recommend the Paper Calculator as a beneficial resource to other companies?
AO: The Paper Calculator gives a lot of weight to our words, and we see it as a great way to continuously demonstrate our commitment to conservation. It also sets us apart from companies who “green wash” their products through good marketing. We enjoy running our annual update and seeing the impact we’ve had over the year by continuing to source post-consumer packaging and we recommend it to fellow green businesses all the time.
SB: Ok, bonus question: How can fellow businesses or members of the public get in touch with Numi for more information on your products or sustainability initiatives?
Thank you Allison. And thanks to you, the reader, for taking the opportunity to learn about Numi Organic Tea. Keep an eye out in September for our next monthly interview.