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Bettys & Taylors

We are Taylors of Harrogate tea and coffee business and Bettys bakery, cookery school and café tea rooms.

Focus: To become a carbon neutral business

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We have followed the principles of the carbon hierarchy - avoiding, reducing and substituting carbon emissions - with the remainder being compensated for in unique ways that bring direct benefit to people in the supply chain. This has included tree planting and clean stoves projects with smallholder farmers in the countries from where we source our materials.

Many actions have been taken to help in our quest, ranging in complexity and impact.

Due to the growth in Taylors business, facilities needed to be expanded to cope with the increase in demand. This started with a new finished goods warehouse in 2011 and then in 2018 an extension to the head office began. This was to create new office space, meeting rooms and an R&D lab, as well as a factory extension with a state-of-the-art tea blending facility and provided a great opportunity to reduce emissions.

The new buildings are BREEAM certified - achieving ‘very good’ status. In line with the assessment categories, low impact and carbon emission reduction had to be at the forefront of the new design. This included wooden structures instead of metal, increased levels of natural lighting and better insulation to the battery-operated trucks we installed for use in the warehouse.

Existing buildings have also been adapted to avoid emissions, with solar panels installed on the roofs at the head office and on some of the warehouse sites to generate renewable electricity and avoid taking supply from the grid. A biomass boiler has also been installed.

Waste is a key focus for the group and since 2017 zero waste has been sent to landfill. Waste processes constantly striving to improve our and move up the waste hierarchy, striving to recycle and compost where we can.

Transportation is responsible for the largest part of our carbon footprint. We have worked hard to increase the efficiency of our trucks by improving route choices, timings and by communicating with our partners to ensure a truck is never carrying just fresh air. For example, in 2017-18 we were averaging 0.95 gallons of fuel per pallet moved whereas in 2018-19 we have improved efficiency and reduced our usage to equate to 0.72 gallons per pallet. The main driver for this improvement is the purchase of a new vehicle which can deliver more pallets in one journey and reduce the amount of smaller vans being sent out, thereby reducing overall road miles.

As well as truck efficiency we have also made steps to switch towards electric vehicles. 2019 saw the first purchase of an electric van which is used to transport post, washing and internal deliveries around our sites. Coinciding with this we have also installed electric charging points in our car park in order to encourage and accommodate staff who are considering or have made the switch to an electric vehicle.

In our office buildings we have reduced emissions by using LED lighting and introducing a new fob-reliant printing system to reduce paper wastage.

Whilst we have made efforts to avoid and reduce our emissions, we still need to use energy to make our products. At our head office, factory and warehouse along with the majority of our Bettys branches we have switched to renewable electricity supplies. We still have some work to do at one of our Bettys Café Tea Rooms, which uses energy supplied from the national grid and is responsible for 18% of our footprint.

We also look to make appropriate substitutions where possible in the office. During our periods of building works when we had to adapt our dining facilities, we swapped traditional plastic cutlery for 'vegware' which is compostable, instead of needing to be incinerated.

All our efforts have helped to decrease our carbon emissions however they alone are not enough for us to become a carbon neutral business. The final stage in our journey has been to create projects to offset the remainder of our emissions. We decided to do as much as we could by supporting projects at our tea and coffee origins, the idea being that the projects would not only create carbon credits for us to use but would also directly benefit the environment and the communities we work with to create our tea and coffee.

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