Tea with Intention: Our B Corp Story

At Choice Organics, we want to create a world that’s better off because we’re in it. We believe in the power of business to help solve social and environmental problems and we hold ourselves to some pretty high standards. Since 1989, we’ve put people and the planet first. We are committed to crafting premium organic tea while also developing mutually beneficial relationships with our tea growers. We seek out ways to give back to our communities, and make responsible choices for the environment. We are on a continuous journey, taking active steps to make a positive impact. We call this Tea with Intention.

Choice Organics became a Certified B Corporation in 2014. Joining this global movement means we are held to higher standards of social and environmental impact, transparency, and accountability to stakeholders. The annual certification process requires evaluation in five key impact areas: governance, workers, community, environments, and customers. This includes a B Impact Assessment and onsite audits that measure our overall company contributions and ongoing efforts. Points are allocated to determine an overall score with the minimum threshold for B Corps being 80 points. In our most recent assessment we proudly scored 105.6 points. As we move forward on this journey, we aim to continue improving that score each year.

Here’s a look at some of the choices we are making to help shape a healthier planet and build stronger communities, for a better tomorrow.

We choose to care for the planet.

Our focus on the planet starts from the ground up. Choice Organics was the first American tea producer to use exclusively organic and non-GMO ingredients. We proudly continue that commitment today. Working with farms that practice organic farming helps to support local ecosystems and makes for really delicious tea, too. Our teas are individually packaged in natural fiber, compostable tea bags and packed into cartons made from 100% recycled paperboard. We even use sustainable, vegetable-based inks.

Our production facility in Eugene, Oregon was built and designed with key sustainability metrics in mind. It is the first LEED-certified tea plant in North America. This unique infrastructure has enabled us to implement smart practices and maximize efficiency when it comes to our waste, energy and water usage.

We are always working to reduce the total amount of waste that we create and send to the landfills. We currently divert about 60% of the waste we generate from the landfill through recycling, reuse, and composting efforts. We partner with vendors who specialize in finding opportunities to re-use excess materials or single-use items, and in recycling items that typically prove challenging. In 2020, this meant keeping over 445,000 pounds of waste out of the landfill!

We choose to help our communities.

From our partnerships with tea growers to community programs in our hometown, we are always looking for ways to put people first.

We partner with our tea grower community in Rwanda to support school aged children through an annual donation to The Porridge Project. This donation provides 200 children of the tea plantation workers with a serving of fortified porridge each day for a year. This fortified porridge helps to improve nutrition, growth, and development, while also supporting the children during their school day.

In 2020, our local community in Oregon was deeply impacted by wildfires. We donated tea to many of the local shelters housing displaced people, raised $10,000 through an employee charity run/walk event for United Way of Lane County, and donated $25,000 to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. That year we also donated 34,814 pounds worth of tea products to Food for Lane County, a non-profit organization that partners with food banks throughout Oregon to distribute product donations to people in need.

We choose meaningful relationships.

As a B Corp, Choice Organics considers our employees among our key stakeholders. We inherently value worker satisfaction and workplace relationships. A 2019 B Impact Assessment Survey found that 98 percent of employees surveyed at Certified B Corporations say they are highly satisfied with where they work. Workers who feel valued lead happier, healthier lives. Being a B-Corp also gives our employees the opportunity to collaborate with a broad network of 138 other Certified B Corporations in Oregon who share our purpose and passion for using business as a force for good.

As a brand, Choice Organics encourages people to live with intention, in order to find inspiration and fulfillment. We carry this mindset into the environment we’ve created for our employees as well. Our facilities were designed with wellness in mind. The workspaces take advantage of an abundance of natural lighting and also include indoor plants. Both of these things have been shown to reduce stress in a work environment. And because the work day should include opportunities for mindfulness, our Breath Deep Room is outfitted for yoga and meditation and includes an onsite massage chair.

We want to support the health and wellbeing of our employees outside of the workplace as well. Choice Organics employees are offered subsidized access to local gyms and fitness facilities. Plus, our comprehensive healthcare benefits packages are inclusive of alternative care options, including access to chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage therapy services, all billable through insurance.

At Choice Organics, we are on a mission to prove that businesses can thrive while putting people before profit. We are proud to be recognized as a B Corp company. By amplifying this message we hope to inspire more companies to adopt the B Corp mindset.

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