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How sustainable is Dilmah ?

Dilmah & sustainability


Dilmah
First milestones, should be better Click here for score rapport: 5 out of 19

Sustainability summary

Dilmah has achieved the D-label. Dilmah sells organic teas, however, it is not clear what part of total tea this represents. Dilmah invests in e.g. nature and social projects, the concrete performance and standards for environment, carbon emissions or labor conditions at production are not clear. For us as consumers, it is unclear to what extent Dilmah is committed to sustainability.

Brand owner: MJF Group
Head office: Peliyagoda, Sri Lanka
Sector: Tea brands
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Dilmah sustainability score report

Last edited: 23 September 2018 by Marine
Last reviewed: 23 September 2018 by Maarten

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

3 out of 4
1. Does the brand (owner) have a policy to reduce climate emissions generated from its own operations as well as its product supply chain? Dilmah implements measures to reduce the climate footprint of both its own operations and supply chain. For example, it has installed 2 solar power plants at Dilmah Tea Headquarters and has established a Climate Change Research Station to further sustainable agricultural practices (see link, page 43, 48, 49). Source
2. Has the brand (owner) disclosed the annual absolute climate footprint of its 'own operations', and has it accomplished an overall absolute climate footprint reduction compared to the result of the previous reporting year? Dilmah publishes the climate footprint of its own operations for 2015/16 and 2016/17, and reports a 17% reduction in emissions: from 2555 to 2140 tons of CO2e (see link, page 42). Source
3. Has the brand (owner) disclosed the annual absolute climate footprint of its supply chain that is 'beyond own operations', and has it accomplished an overall absolute climate footprint reduction compared to the result of the previous reporting year? Dilmah published its annual absolute climate footprint, from 2015/6 to 2016/7; however, Dilmah reports an increase in its emission footprint for Scope 3 from 263 to 994 tons of CO2e (see link, page 42). Source
4. Has the brand (owner) set a target to make at least its own operations fully climate neutral by 2030, and is the brand on track to achieve this target? Dilmah pledged to 'accomplish carbon neutrality by 2017', and reports steps supporting the claim that it is now 'a carbon neutral facility'. It is not clear to what extent this holds for all their operations and facilities, but their steps taken suggest they are easily on track to at least achieve this target by 2030. Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

0 out of 7
1. Does the brand use organic or otherwise environmentally certified tea for at least 5% of its volume? Dilmah reports offering a selection of certified organic teas, but does not report what percentage of its tea leaves is organic or otherwise environmentally certified (see link, page 34). Source
2. Does the brand use organic or otherwise environmentally certified tea for at least 30% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
3. Does the brand use organic or otherwise environmentally certified tea for at least 50% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
4. Does the brand use organic or otherwise environmentally certified tea for at least 70% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
5. Does the brand use organic or otherwise environmentally certified tea for at least 95% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
6. Does the brand (owner) report what percentage of its consumer packaging materials are renewable or made from recycled materials, and does the brand implement best practices or concrete policies which have reduced the environmental impact of their packaging materials? Dilmah does not report the percentage of recycled or renewable materials used for its consumer packaging, nor any annual reductions or best practices regarding its packaging materials (see link page 45/46). Source
7. Does the brand (owner) publish its absolute waste materials footprint and implement concrete policies to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, thereby decreasing its waste footprint compared to the previous reporting year? Dilmah reports the annual waste by type, weight and way of disposal, but has increased its annual waste footprint from less than 300,000 kg in 2015/16 (see link) to 361,696 in 2016/17 (see previous link page 46). Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

2 out of 8
1. Does the brand (owner) have a clear and effective policy to improve the farmers’ income that goes beyond certification? As a Sri Lankan company sourcing tea from Sri Lanka, Dilmah focuses less on certifications, but donates a minimum of 10% of its global earnings to the MJF charitable foundation for capacity building in local communities and to the Dilmah Conservation fund, and reports on this extensively (see link, page 47-55 & 64-74). Source
2. Does the brand (company) purchase at least 5% tea from sources (plantations) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labor, and provide a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce the tea? Dilmah doesn't specify what share of its current tea supply is socially certified by standards such as Fairtrade or can be considered compliant in accordance with respective standards (see link, page 64). Source
3. Does the brand (company) purchase at least 20% tea from sources (plantations) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labor, and provide a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce the tea? See remark for labor conditions policy question 2. Source
4. Does the brand (company) purchase at least 40% tea from sources (plantations) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labor, and provide a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce the tea? See remark for labor conditions policy question 2. Source
5. Does the brand (company) purchase at least 60% tea from sources (plantations) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labor, and provide a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce the tea? See remark for labor conditions policy question 2. Source
6. Does the brand (company) purchase at least 80% tea from sources (plantations) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labor, and provide a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce the tea? See remark for labor conditions policy question 2. Source
7. Does the brand (company) use socially certified tea for at least 95% of its volume, thus combating child labor and forced labour, and providing a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce the tea? See remark for labor conditions policy question 2. Source
8. Does the brand (company) maintain a published list of tea suppliers, that have collectively contributed to more than 90% of the purchase volume of tea? Dilmah doesn't provide a list of suppliers. Source