Banyan Botanicals and Partners Working to Measure and Reduce Scope 3 Emissions in Herbal Supply Chain

March 14, 2024
The pre-competitive group and coalition features seven member companies, including Banyan Botanicals, Nature’s Sunshine, Pure Synergy, Pukka Tea, Traditional Medicinals, Pacific Botanicals, and Yogi

Banyan Botanicals, an Ayurvedic lifestyle brand, and other companies in the natural products sector have partnered to establish accurate Scope 3 emissions data associated with the agricultural production of herbs. This will help reduce carbon emissions in the herbal supply chain and improve environmental standards for the industry.

The pre-competitive group and coalition - known as the Scope 3 Herbal Footprinting Working Group - is assisted by the Sustainable Herbs Program and features seven member companies, including Banyan Botanicals, Nature’s Sunshine, Pure Synergy, Pukka Tea, Traditional Medicinals, Pacific Botanicals, and Yogi. 

Several challenges are involved in calculating Scope 3 emissions, which are classified as activities within an organization’s supply chain not directly controlled by the organization.

Footprinting herbal ingredients is difficult to navigate due to outcomes from a diverse range of herbs, variability in production methods, and the absence of readily available CO2 emissions data. However, measuring these emissions is vital for the long-term sustainability of herb cultivation.

While performing a single herbal emissions footprint is found to be cost-prohibitive, pooling resources and enlisting Sustainable Ag to consult on the project helps the group to collect primary data for over 20 priority herbs, including ashwagandha. The initiative also helps create an accessible, scalable, and standardized model for measuring herbal emissions across the industry.

“The climate crisis is changing how we work together,” said Ann Armbrecht, Founder and Director of the Sustainable Herbs Program. “These seven companies coming together to share emissions data will benefit not only their bottom line but also their farm partners, consumers, the herbal industry and the environment.”

The Scope 3 Herbal Footprinting Working Group plans to continue to collaborate around in-set projects at the farm level, which lowers the actual carbon emissions a company produces and reduces the climate impacts of their herbal ingredients. It is also expected to start publishing a white paper with preliminary results in late 2024.