Climate action can’t wait. Our planet is warming faster than at any point in human history, and we all play a role in reducing emissions. Numi is committed to giving you the tools to fight climate change, starting with our Carbon Footprint Label.
There’s more to tea than just leaves and water. The journey from farm to cup requires raw materials, packaging, transportation and water for steeping.
To get a full picture of our climate impact, Numi conducted a complete inventory of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout our supply chain. We used this data to create the tea industry’s first product-level Carbon Footprint Label for consumers — a single number measured in kg CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) — that represents the emissions required to produce one bag of tea.
Numi worked with Planet FWD, the leading carbon management platform for consumer brands, to estimate an average product carbon footprint for all our teas and botanical products. Each Carbon Footprint Label includes a footprint number and a breakdown of four emissions categories, representing the primary sources of GHGs throughout our supply chain.
The average carbon footprint of a cup of Numi tea, assuming a serving of 2.26g and 8oz of water, is of 0.038 kg CO2e. Here are the emissions sources included in our carbon footprint:
Ingredients: This includes all activities required to make our tea (i.e. raw materials, local transport and processing, milling, and blending). Because 85%+ of our ingredients are traceable to the farm level, we can create an individualized carbon footprint for each product. Where ingredient-level data is unavailable, we use an average based on product weight.
Packaging: We strive to eliminate excess packaging and use plant-based materials wherever possible. This category includes our cardboard tea boxes, which are made from 90% recycled paperboard, as well as the corrugated cardboard cases we use in shipping. It also includes our plant-based tea wrappers, which produce 67% lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventional wrappers.1
Transport: This includes downstream transportation and distribution (shipments from warehouse to customer locations or distribution centers), as well as any overhead energy consumption, capital goods and necessary activities for production of our teas and botanicals.
Boiling Water: We calculate the “use phase” of our products using a weighted average of three different methods of boiling water (electric kettle, microwave, and stovetop), assuming an 8oz serving.
How to Compare Carbon Footprints
While carbon footprint labels are still relatively new in the marketplace, many brands have pledged to start labeling their products. Our hope is that others follow our lead and commit to transparently sharing their carbon data. This will give consumers more context for this important number, and empower them to make better choices when it comes to environmental impact.
Nearly half of a tea bag’s carbon footprint (46%) comes from boiling water. You can reduce your carbon footprint by using an electric tea kettle, boiling only the amount of water you need, and opting for clean energy sources if available. If clean energy isn’t an option where you live, write to your elected officials and advocate for a zero-emissions electricity grid!
For almost 5,000 years, farmers have grown tea trees in harmony with nature. Tea trees store and accumulate carbon, making tea carbon-negative at the farm level. The organic tea estates we work with use additional regenerative practices like no-till farming, cover cropping, perennial planting, and agroforestry, all of which draw carbon from the atmosphere on a net basis.
Numi tea is less carbon-intensive than coffee. The carbon footprint of a cup of Numi tea is 86% lower than a cup of conventional espresso (.28kg CO2e) and 93% lower than a conventional latte (.55kg CO2e). When comparing sustainably produced coffee, the emissions in a cup of Numi tea are 37% lower than sustainable espresso (.06kg CO2e) and 88% lower than a sustainable latte (.33kg CO2e).2
As a Climate Neutral Certified business, we’re on a journey to reduce our annual carbon impact. We hold ourselves accountable by measuring and reporting on our carbon footprint. We offset 100% of our annual Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions with high-quality carbon offsets that support biodiversity and community resilience in the Amazon Rainforest.
Learn more about Numi’s Climate Action Plan.
Climate Action Plan
Why Organic Tea?
1Stanford Graduate Student project, LCA for Complex Systems https://doi.org/10.1002/geo2.96
2Nab, C, Maslin, M. Life cycle assessment synthesis of the carbon footprint of Arabica coffee. Geo: Geography and Environment. 2020; 7:e96.