Respecting the planet
"Our Trees For Life campaign actually resulted in the planting of three million trees across the world. But we didn't stop there..."
Long term thinking
Working with the Rainforest Alliance helps us to improve working conditions and living standards in tea growing countries all over the world. We also aim to respect the environment too, by minimizing the effect that tea-growing can have on the planet. Our commitment includes extensive tree planting, significant reductions in the agro-chemicals used, more efficient plant husbandry, better waste management and water treatment.
We’re always trying to find new ways to reduce our carbon footprint still further, but is reducing negative impact enough? There are other positive ways we can combat climate change. Twenty years ago, our former chairman promised his children he’d plant a million trees after they saw a TV programme about deforestation. In the end, our Trees For Life campaign actually resulted in the planting of three million trees across the world. But we didn’t stop there. We realized that to make a real difference we had to stop the destruction of the rainforest. We've recently removed the tokens and are simply making a contribution on behalf of every customer instead. As well as saving you the hassle of sending tokens in and paying for postage, this means we can cut out loads of admin costs and divert all those savings into our tree projects. That way we're able to put more money than ever into planting and saving trees around the world.
Keeping tea flowing
Importing tea and coffee is a big part of what we do. So how do we get it to Harrogate? Tea is still shipped from India, Africa and Sri Lanka. Until a few years ago, our tea arrived at southern ports such as Felixstowe and Tilbury. However, being 250 miles away was not only inconvenient, it wasn’t very eco-friendly. So now all our tea, rather aptly, arrives and is warehoused at Teesport, Middlesbrough. Being only an hour away from Harrogate, it means we not only save around 100,000 road miles a year, we can streamline the flow of tea into our factory and reduce the stocks held on site. And who keeps tea supplies flowing from Teesport? Our Commodities Shipping Manager... called Richard ‘Brewster’. You couldn’t make it up.
Keeping it local too
"We've been a member of the local community since 1886 and we try to be good neighbours by doing our bit to support local charities, schools and events whenever we can."
Importing, blending and producing Yorkshire Tea is an exciting international operation, but we never forget our roots. We’ve been a member of the local community since 1886 and we try to be good neighbours by doing our bit to support local charities, schools and events whenever we can. You may have heard of Captain Rummage, our recycling pirate. He has a swash-buckling approach to waste and turns trash into treasure. It all started with his Cone Exchange programme that re-used the cardboard cones our tagged teabag string came on to make Christmas angels. Since then, Captain Rummage has been promoting the three ‘arrrrs!’ in schools: ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’. He’s raised loads for charity, received an MBE and won an environmental award for us too!
Reducing our impact
Reductions in our landfill waste is just one of the ways we’re reducing our impact on the environment. We’ve also installed solar panels and a rainwater collection system on our roofs for providing power and ‘grey water’ for flushing toilets. Our vehicles are cleaned with a van-washing system that uses recycled water. Coffee packaging has been reduced in weight by a third saving around twenty tons of packaging a year. Heat recovery systems on our coolers actually pre-heat our hot water and ‘variable speed drives’ on factory equipment provide CO2 reductions of around 38%. Our new warehouse is designed to make the most of natural light and motion sensors switch lights off when they’re not needed. It all makes sense and it saves us money too.
Our Yorkshire Tea boxes carry the trademark of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) – a not-for-profit organisation which promotes responsible forest management, harvesting wood in a way that assures the forest's biodiversity, productivity and ecological processes are preserved. And we even have our own FSC Chain of Custody Certification, to confirm that every step of our box production process involves only wood from FSC certified forests and controlled sources, from the forest to the shelf. All our FSC documentation is linked below.
FSC Product Group Schedule (PDF, 49Kb, opens in new window)
Our policy of association with FSC (PDF, 172Kb, opens in new window)
Yorkshire Tea products carrying our FSC license code (PDF, 41Kb, opens in new window)