Pukka Herbs becomes UK’s smallest firm to secure 1.5C Science-Based Target

Carbon Credentials is thrilled to share that our client Pukka Herbs has become the first UK company of its size, and only the 13th in the UK, to have its emission targets validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

A greenhouse gas emissions target can be considered ‘science-based’ if the emissions reductions it requires are in line with keeping the global temperature increase below 2°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures.

Pukka has committed to ambitious climate targets in line with IPCC recommendations to limit warming to 1.5C. Aiming to be zero carbon by 2030 they join multi-national brands such as Tesco, who we also helped set their SBT and were the 1st UK company set targets in line with 1.5C, Marks and Spencer, and Coca Cola European Partners, showing that it’s not just large companies that can commit to these ambitious targets.

What does setting science-based targets mean for Pukka?

Pukka’s aim has always been to minimise the impact of climate change and protect our people, plants and planet. Pukka has worked with Carbon Credentials to become the first UK company of its size to achieve sign off for its science-based targets and become zero carbon in its buildings and vehicles by 2030.

As 90% of Pukka’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are outside of its control, Pukka needs to address emissions from “crop to cup” across its complex tea supply as well. To do this, Pukka has also committed to reducing Scope 3 emissions in its value chain by 50% by 2050 from a 2017 baseline.

What does Pukka say about this achievement?

Sebastian Pole, co-founder of Pukka Herbs, spoke exclusively to Business Green on its SBTi validation: “We knew we wanted to set a science-based target back in November 2015 ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, COP 21 so we were committing to reductions in line with what climate scientists are telling us needs to happen. Not just what we think is achievable as a business.”

“As the recent IPCC report tells us, there is now a small window of opportunity. Keeping temperature rises to within 1.5 degrees is, quite literally for many, the only way to live. This demands serious commitment and bold action from everyone, no matter what size their business. It is no use waiting for governments to take action, businesses have a responsibility to act as a force for good and now.”

How will Pukka achieve its targets?

As Sebastian Pole understands it, the difficult work doesn’t stop after approval, he told Business Green that “For me it’s a bit like we want to get fit. I’ve bought my shoes and I want to get fit, but I’m not. So training for the first few days is a real nightmare, but I will get will get fit. And that’s what it feels like – we have decided we want SBTs, it’s been really hard working them out and doing it, but we will get there.”


With the help of Carbon Credentials, Pukka has mapped out its carbon footprint, breaking down total emissions from ‘crop to cup’. Pukka will achieve its science-based targets through actions ranging from engaging with suppliers to tackling the emissions caused from boiling kettles – which have the greatest impact (49%) in Pukka’s value chain. Its ‘Smart Boiling’ campaign will encourage people to adopt some simple practices to make a ‘Pukka cuppa’.

A quarter of Pukka’s carbon footprint is in the growing of its herbs and making its packaging. To address these emissions, Pukka has:

  •  Inspired other companies in its supply chain to switch to renewable energy.
  •  Employed organic farming methods that reduce emissions and store more carbon in soils.
  • Begun working with its most important herb growers to encourage low carbon farming techniques such as agroforestry which helps to reduce carbon emissions, and help lock more water into the soil which is important in times of future drought.
  • Run pilot carbon reduction projects in collaboration with suppliers and the communities growing its specific herbs.

What does Carbon Credentials say about this achievement?

Our CEO Paul Lewis speaks on behalf of Carbon Credentials –
“We’re incredibly proud of the work with Pukka to develop such an ambitious target that meets the stringent requirements of the SBTi.  Our team helped to build buy-in to the process by demonstrating a clear business case for setting SBTSs, understood analysis to help Pukka understand its carbon hot spots, and developed creative solutions to decouple emissions from growth.”

“We’ve been impressed by the dedication they’ve shown, and I hope this new commitment gives others the courage to follow in their footsteps. Carbon Credentials is focused on measurable impact, so we look forward to working in partnership with Pukka as they transition to a zero-carbon business.”

Contact us

Interested in setting your own SBT? Download our helpful guide!

Or contact our team to learn how! emma.watson@carboncredentials.com