Wakulima Tea Company (WTC) has calculated and disclosed its GHG emissions, the first step in reducing its carbon footprint through better practices. Meanwhile, it is offsetting emissions with Certified Emission Reductions. Ten percent of the carbon footprint of a cup of tea comes from cultivation and processing, which WTC is working to reduce.
‘The climate emergency is disproportionately affecting Africa so it’s up to us all to take action to reduce our contribution to global warming,’ said Andres de Klerk, Operations Director at WTC. ‘Our next step is to remove avoidable GHG transmission and we are looking for partners who can help us identify and implement operational changes to reach this goal.’
WTC is a subsidiary of Tanzania Tea Packers Ltd (TATEPA), which has also established Suma Hydro, a hydro-electricity station to provide sustainable energy for the farm and local area. The company is waiting for final approval from the Tanzanian Government to proceed with construction, which will significantly reduce direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions.
The Carbon Neutral International Standard is awarded by One Carbon World, an organisation offering advice and support to private and public bodies on measuring and reducing greenhouse gases. The goal is to help implement the Paris Agreement to reach greenhouse gas (GHG) emission neutrality in the second half of the twenty-first century, while also supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
‘We are happy to announce that Wakulima Tea Company has achieved the Carbon Neutral International Standard, which shows their strong commitment to sustainability.’ said Andrew Bowen, Chief Executive Officer of One Carbon World. ‘Every emission Wakulima Tea Company has offset directly supports reforestation programmes as well as renewable energy and hydro projects worldwide.’
Tea has a very low carbon footprint compared with other drinks: nearly twenty times less than beer, ten times less than milk, and 6 times less than Coco-Cola. A study by the Kenyan Tea Research Foundation and Tea Research Institute found that 85% of the carbon impact of tea is generated by consumption – using electricity to boil water. Adding milk may increase the total impact by up to three times. Cultivation and processing contributes around 10% to the total and it is WTC’s goal to reduce this significantly.