The Carbon Footprint of Tea

To get a full picture of our climate impact, Numi conducted a complete inventory of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from farm to cup. This includes: raw materials, packaging, transportation and water for steeping. 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.

Carbon Footprint Methodology

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 0.038 kg CO2e. Here are the emissions sources included in our carbon footprint: 

Carbon Footprint Labels

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.

Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Choose clean electricity

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.

Support regenerative argriculture

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.

Opt for tea over coffee

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).¹ 

Climate Neutral Certified

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 emissions with high-quality carbon offsets that support biodiversity and community resilience in the Amazon Rainforest. 

Learn more about Numi’s Climate Action Plan. 


¹Stanford Graduate Student project, LCA for Complex Systems, C, Maslin, M. Life cycle assessment synthesis of the carbon footprint of Arabica coffee. Geo: Geography and Environment. 2020; 7:e96.