Pukka Herbs has achieved Carbon Neutral status – how did they do it?

Published on in Energy and Efficiency by Go Green.

In 2013, Pukka Herbs joined the West of England Carbon Challenge (WECC) network to share best practice in climate change mitigation and adaptation. They wanted to address greenhouse gas reductions in every part of their product lifecycle.

Pukka’s climate change policy was written by their sustainability manager, taking guidance from other policies available online. It is a short, one page document that everyone in the organisation can understand. A gap and impact analysis was carried out for the commitments made in the policy which was necessary to secure board-level approval.  The policy was approved and a plan was produced to measure emissions from gas, electricity, water, waste and travel using EnergyDeck , whilst freight and refrigeration, emissions were monitored using the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) emission factors. Monitoring only takes about one hour a month of Anne’s time.

“This was, importantly, a whole company effort where people were inspired to feel that even a small change makes an impact. Carbon neutral company status is a fantastic achievement that benefits people, plants and planet.”

Anne Barr, Sustainability Manager, Pukka Herbs

Since monitoring began, Pukka have implemented a range of emission reduction projects and unavoidable emissions within their financial control were offset.  They made carbon neutrality a company level objective, with each department considering carbon reduction opportunities in their overall plan and all team members were encouraged to set themselves a non-compulsory objective in their individual performance and development plans.

At the end of Pukka’s financial year, its carbon footprint was calculated and verified by external consultants. Unavoidable carbon emissions were offset by purchasing offset credits for an efficient cookstove project in Africa, provided through Carbon Footprint Ltd. Pukka chose this option because it offered a credible Gold Standard project with the lowest cost (£6.30 per tonne) that also aligned with Pukka’s values of improving health (through reduced smoke inhalation from open fires) as well as reducing deforestation.