Toronto Buffalo London Sydney
Toronto Buffalo London Sydney

Metro Environmental Action Program

Our Mission: To make environmental protection a component of all of our business decisions both at home, and abroad, and to provide our customers with sustainable products at the best prices possible. 


Fully self-funded, the Metro Environmental Action Program takes a three-step approach to reducing our environmental footprint and promoting sustainable manufacturing practices. Carbon Reduction. Avoidance. Offset. 


Step 1: Carbon Reduction

The Metropolitan Tea factory in Toronto, Canada incorporates many design features intended to reduce energy use, and cut down on carbon release. These include:

Air Transfer & Lighting 

Fans move air throughout the facility where required, cutting down on heating/cooling needs. Ultra-efficient lighting reduces electricity use.

 Carton Upcycling

Recycled packing materials are used exclusively, and carton boxes are reused whenever possible.
Cardboard boxes from incoming shipments are reused where possible. When reuse is not possible, we convert the cardboard into packing material.

Maximizing Shipping Utility

Bulk teas are vacuum-packed in a square shape to maximize space in shipping cartons. When implemented, this move improved logistical efficiency by 15%.


Step 2: Carbon Avoidance

In 2012 Metropolitan Tea installed 2,600 solar panels on the roof of their manufacturing facility. At the time of installation, it was one of  Ontario, Canada’s largest privately owned solar arrays.

    Our solar array generates 5x the amount of energy consumed by
    our factory:

    • Approximately 800,000 – 1,000,000 Kwh are generated each year

    • In relation, an average house hold in Canada uses 11,900 Kwh per year (meaning on average we are producing enough power for 130 homes)

• There is some variance depending on sunlight levels over the course of the year

The solar array sits atop the roof of our factory.

Solar electricity also helps us avoid substantial emissions each year (recent data):

• Carbon: 1,160,000 lbs / 526167.1492 kg

• SO2: 4000 lbs / 1814 kg

• NOx: 1600 lbs / 726 kg


• In 2012 Metropolitan Tea earned a Sustainability Award from the Toronto Board of Trade

• Our company became one of the world’s first tea blenders and packers to achieve carbon negative status


Step 3: Proactive Carbon Offsetting

Metropolitan Tea became carbon neutral in 2011. As wholesalers of agricultural products, we believe it is our responsibility to offset the carbon we generate each year. The continued goal of our carbon offset strategy is to further reduce our overall carbon footprint, while promoting biodiversity in sensitive lands in Ontario.

Tree Planting

In 2011, in response to the UN Billion Tree program and Ontario 50 million Tree program, Metropolitan Tea planted 15,000 trees. 200 acres of abandoned farmland was purchased, and 7 species were planted to promote biodiversity. In addition to offsetting our carbon footprint, we’re proud to say these trees have also created new habitats for species at risk.

This picture from 2020 shows how the trees have flourished. The land is healthier and green– creating a safe space and habitat for wildlife. The bigger the trees become, the more carbon dioxide they sequester too. The species planted will live for 200+ years.

Wetland Preservation

Adjacent to our tree reserve, the same tract of land is home to 80 acres of historical wetland. Our tree planting initiative helped create a permanent buffer zone around this wetland to protect numerous species of beavers, endangered spotted turtles, endangered black terns and countless other birds and amphibians.

Refuge for endangered spotted turtles.
Hunting grounds for Sandhill Cranes.

Forest Preservation

   Finally, 80 acres of old growth forest were preserved. Each acre
   absorbs roughly 30,000lbs / 13607.771kg of carbon a year.
   The forest is home to foxes, deer, porcupines, bears, and more.

Protecting old growth forest helps reduce our carbon footprint.

While the effects of global warming and climate change continue to make headlines around the world, Metropolitan Tea is proud of the work we’ve done to help mitigate the environmental effects of our business.