2022 Sustainability Updates from The Republic of Tea
July 26, 2022
Since its founding in 1992, The Republic of Tea has grown to become the leading purveyor of premium teas and herbs. As our company has expanded over the past three decades, so have our efforts to create a sustainable future through the implementation of green business practices.
Environmental sustainability has been a core value of The Republic of Tea since its inception. Our commitment to protecting and caring for the planet is guided by the ancient Chinese philosophy of Ta Shun, or “Harmony for the Whole.”
“We are mindful of the impact that our actions and business activities have on the environment and our communities,” explains Kristina Tucker, Minister of Enlightenment and Commerce. “The Republic of Tea enriches people’s lives through great–tasting premium teas and herbs, education, and innovation – emphasizing a ‘Sip by Sip Rather than Gulp by Gulp’ lifestyle. Our environmental stewardship work is an important part of this ethos.”
To provide transparency about how we are committing to sustainability and earth stewardship, we are highlighting a few of our ongoing initiatives:
- The Republic of Tea is a founding member of the Ethical Tea Partnership, a non–commercial alliance of major tea packing companies working together to promote social responsibility in the world tea trade and to ensure the ethical sourcing of tea.
- We are also a proud member of the Upcycled Food Association (UFA), a nonprofit focused on reducing food waste by growing the upcycled food economy, as well as a member of Climate Collaborative and the American Herbal Products Association.
- Our Impact TEAm meets regularly to discuss topics related to sustainability within the scope of both The Republic of Tea’s operations and their personal lives. Areas of focus include increasing energy efficiency, reducing waste, conserving resources, promoting environmental education and more.
- We are proud to partner with the highest level certification organizations that do good for the planet, including USDA Certified Organic and Demeter USA.
- The Republic of Tea’s signature round tea bags have always been made from unbleached tea paper, free of unnecessary strings, tags and staples. For every 1 million tea bags of The Republic of Tea sipped, 60 pounds of staples, 47 miles of string and 1 million paper tags are saved from landfills.
- The Republic of Tea’s signature cylindrical steel tea tins are made up of 30–50% recycled steel. They are airtight, recyclable and reusable.
- Our packing and shipping practices center on minimalism, simplicity and the elimination of excess. For all shipments, the principal packing material is reclaimed tea paper supplemented by GEAMI or EXPANDOS, which are 100% recyclable packaging products. The use of these materials enables us to use smaller, 100% recyclable shipping boxes, which results in reduced usage of fossil fuels (both from tires and diesel gas) during transportation.
- The Republic of Tea’s headquarters is located at The Exchange at Larkspur Landing Circle, a LEED–certified building in Marin County, California that is committed to energy and water efficiency, waste reduction and prioritizing the use of environmentally conscious practices and products. The artfully designed 2,500–square–foot space provides the opportunity for many of our Ministers (employees) to commute to the office via bike, the adjacent SmartTrain station or the nearby Larkspur Landing Ferry.
- Recently, our production and shipping center in Nashville, Illinois upgraded all warehouse lighting to LED, facilitating a longer lifespan of the bulbs and the reduction of overall energy output. We have also implemented AC Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) for energy efficiency and cost reduction.
The Republic of Tea is proud to operate as a socially conscious business and to do good for the planet through these and other initiatives. For more information about our sustainability initiatives, please visit our Partners & Impact page or view our blog posts about environmental sustainability.