Numi was founded in 1999 in Oakland, California by brother and sister Ahmed Rahim and Reem Hassani with a vision to share the transformative, healing power of tea with the world. They named their company after the steeped dried desert lime they drank in their early childhood in Baghdad, Iraq. The drink symbolizes hospitality and community (numi means “citrus” in Arabic). Creative, conscious change-makers, they have introduced little-known herbs and teas to the United States, while advancing human rights and sustainable causes around the globe.
In 2011, Numi began assessing the carbon emissions associated with its business operations and product shipments. In partnership with Carbonfund.org, Numi began by offsetting around 40% of its estimated annual emissions and has maintained this program for the past ten years, expanding the program in 2019 to encompass 100% carbon emissions offsetting.
To date, Numi has worked with Carbonfund.org to offset 10,191 metric tonnes of CO2e from its business operations. About 50% of these offsets supported 100% renewable micro-hydroelectric and wind projects in India and China, respectively; and since 2018, the remaining amount of carbon offsets have supported the Envira Amazonia Rainforest Conservation Project in Brazil, a Climate, Community and Biodiversity Triple Gold Project, independently verified by SCS Global Services to the VCS standard. The environmental benefit of reducing 10,191 metric tonnes of carbon emissions is about the same as planting 168,500 trees ten years ago and allowing those trees to grow and sequester carbon dioxide emissions over the ten-year period!
Along the way, Numi has pursued a variety of ways to reduce operational emissions, including:
- Optimizing loads and shipping lines, eliminating reliance on air shipments except when necessary to address inventory shortages;
- Transitioning the headquarters building to 100% renewable energy for all purchased electricity;
- 2018: conducting full farm to warehouse GHG assessment and prioritizing action based on greatest emissions sources; based on this, began working with producers to explore clean energy generation at farm and primary processing facilities;
- 2011-2018: downgauging packaging and replacing paper layer with 100% PCW (curbside collected) paper layer;
- 2019-current: transitioning to compostable plant based flexible film for approximately 80% of the Numi product offerings. This move has removed demand for 14.3 metric tonnes of virgin, fossil fuel derived plastics from the market annually!
- 2019: tree planting program with green tea producers in China, planting 5,000 location-appropriate tree saplings in tea gardens;
- 2020: established climate advocacy program and began engaging with policy makers and consumers to communicate policy priorities, including supporting the Advanced Clean Trucking Rule, California SB 525 (offshore wind), call4climateNOW campaign, and other proposals to accelerate the shift to a post fossil fuel economy;
- 2021: embracing the remote office and making remote work an ongoing option for employees. Previously, employee commute contributed about 17 metric tonnes of CO2e to the company-wide carbon footprint annually.
“Carbonfund.org is very proud to partner with a market leader in the area of environmental responsibility and sustainable business practices like Numi,” states Eric M. Carlson, Carbonfund.org’s President. “The company’s history of achieving ongoing carbon emissions reductions from all areas of its operations, while aspiring to create new ways to improve the environmental health of its suppliers, is truly inspiring.”
“We are incredibly grateful to Carbonfund.org for their support, vision, and commitment to the planet over our 10-year partnership,” said Reem Hassani, co-founder and CBO of Numi. “They have helped us grow into 100% carbon neutral company, while investing in offsets that provide meaningful environmental and social benefits to communities around the world.”