Metro Environmental Action Program

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

 

Step 1: Reducing carbon output

Our company has made numerous upgrades to our factory and processes with the goal of reducing carbon emissions.

 

Factory infrastructure improvements

Fans move air to help cool machinery when required.
 
Waste cardboard is converted to packing material.

 

Recycled packing materials are used exclusively, and carton boxes are reused whenever possible.

 

Results:

  • Considerable drop in utility usage
  • 3-fold increase in output

 

Packing smarter

By vac-packing our teas into a square block shape, shipping efficiency is vastly improved.

 

Results:

  • Drastic reduction in carton usage
  • 15% increase in logistics efficiency

 

Step 2: Proactive Carbon Offsetting

As wholesalers of agricultural products, we believe it is our responsibility to offset the carbon we generate each year.

 

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.

Biodiversity is greatly enhanced.

Results:

  •  Metropolitan Tea achieved carbon neutral status in 2011
This picture from 2020 shows how the trees have flourished.
The land is healthier and greener – creating a safe space and habitat for wildlife.

 

Wetland Preservation

Additionally, 80 acres of historic wetlands were set aside for protection. This land is home to beavers, endangered spotted turtles, black terns, and countless other birds and amphibians.

Refuge for endangered spotted turtles.
Sandhill cranes hunt in the wetlands.

 

Old growth forest preservation

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

Protecting old growth forest helps reduce our carbon footprint.

Results:

• 2,400,000 lbs / 1088621.688 kg of carbon offset each year

 

Step 3: Active Carbon Avoidance

In 2011 Metropolitan Tea installed 2,600 solar array panels atop its tea 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 70 homes)

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

 

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

The solar array sits atop the roof of our factory.

Results:

• 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