You might remember that last year we became B Corp Certified – something we’re still pretty chuffed about!
But first and foremost, what does B Corp mean? In a nutshell, a B Corp is a business that takes its social and environmental responsibility and impact seriously. That means we're not just focused on profit making, but we also prioritise the wellbeing of our people, the communities we touch and the environment across everything we do. B Corp assess a business across these key areas and carry out an audit every 3 years.
Given that March is B Corp Month, a time to celebrate and share the love for certified companies, we thought it would be the perfect time to give you an update on what we’re doing in the areas B Corp assesses and where we want to get to. We’re currently working on publishing our sustainability report in 2020 where we’ll lay out our mission in more detail but we hope this will give you a good idea of where we’re at.
This one is all about doing business well and good business practices. Everyone in the teapigs team has a personal objective relating to sustainability or community work... from packaging reduction to volunteering in our local community – so it runs right through the business. We’ve reviewed and continue to review our processes to make sure that we have carefully considered how we could impact the environment, people and the community before making decisions - from selecting products and supplies to deciding on which marketing materials and partners we invest in.
what’s next? This year we’re on a mission to achieve our sustainability objectives! We’re also planning to make a consistent feedback channel where the team can all be kept up to speed on any developments – including those relating to our packaging and green office.
We work hard to ensure that the teapigs team are well looked after; after all, who wants to come to a miserable office every day!? We take pride in having a friendly company culture that supports employees through training and development, open feedback sessions, a big focus on health and wellbeing, and flexible working options. We’re a London Living Wage employer too, and continually review our benefits package - at the moment that includes: life insurance, pension schemes, optional private healthcare, regular team lunches, a regularly stocked fruit bowl, weekly fitness classes and (of course) plenty of free tea!
what’s next? We recently recruited teapig Maria, who works hard to look after our office culture and HR. Another thing we’re planning for 2020 include speaking to the team to understand how they can be even better supported... and we’ll be increasing our focus on training and career development as part of this. We’ve also recently done some mental health training with St Johns Ambulance and plan to give this more focus and get more teapigs involved moving forward.
We’re proud to give back to the communities that bring us our much loved tea. For each pack of every day brew and single estate breakfast tea we sell, we make a donation to the Point Foundation (a charity which supports vulnerable young people in Rwanda – where we source these two teas). We also match donations our customers make on our website, and last year we decided to give 100% of the money made from our tea school ticket sales to the charity moving forward as well. So, if you’re an everyday brew or single estate breakfast tea drinker, or you've joined us for a tea school, you’re helping to support our ethical scheme... thanks! As well as this, we support our local community in Brentford in various projects, for example supplying tea samples for school fayres and charity/sporting events.
what’s next? As well as continuing to raise money for the Point Foundation (so far we’ve raised over £300,000), we want to develop our local program so we can give more consistent support to our community.
Tea is a natural product and that means it shouldn't be adulterated by anything nasty… including attitudes! Our tea is sourced from sustainable, well-run tea estates and we’re members of the Ethical Tea Partnership who work to improve sustainability in tea growing regions and to protect the environment around the tea estates. As well as this, we’re an approved supplier of the Sustainable Restaurant Association which helps guide restaurants in all areas of sustainability, from the way they source products for their restaurants, to how they impact society, their employees and the environment.
We were also the first tea company to be certified plastic-free by A Plastic Planet, and almost all of our packaging is made from plants, and is compostable, recyclable or reusable. Our tea temples, for example, are made from cornstarch meaning they can be popped in your council food waste bin for industrial composting. As well as this, our pack cartons are FSC certified and we print using vegetable ink.
what’s next? We work to make our packaging better all the time – keep an eye out for our new packaging with clear information on how best to dispose of it after use… and some changes to our loose leaf packs coming soon, too! Some of our other plans include setting reduction targets for energy and water usage in the office, and working to get our full range Rainforest Alliance certified. As of last year, we’re also working towards 100% paperless signing, and have reintroduced glass milk bottle deliveries to the office.
We love hearing your feedback too - so if there is anything you would like to talk to us about, feel free to drop teapigs Jon and Em an email here!