Des Grands Thés bio et éthiques, des voyages et des rencontres…

Arlette Rohmer, fondatrice des Jardins de Gaïa

Ecological transition: we can count on the Coq Vert network

The words ecological transition are on everyone’s lips and it’s a subject that will profoundly change the course of our lives. For an SME, this transition is a challenge, but also a necessity because the choices we make today will determine what happens in the future.

There are many challenges when it comes to working out what needs to be done – finding solutions and making the transition, in a field where we don’t necessarily have the benefit of hindsight. It’s for this reason that sharing knowledge and experience has become essential.

This is why we have joined the Coq vert network which was recently set up and managed by Ademe and the Banque Publique dInvestissement (BPI). It’s a really exciting initiative, based on the premise that a company acting on its own has little chance of making a successful transition and significantly reducing its carbon emissions – and time is running out. We are already putting in place a lot of measures to protect the environment, but surrounding ourselves with a mutually supportive network is an additional asset and will allow us to further improve and make more of an impact with our choices. As you will see, the Coq vert network is a particularly useful resource in helping to make a difference. 

The philosophy of the network: to teach others

On the one hand there are the companies (SMEs, VSEs, ETIs), the original members of the network – they already have some experience in environmental and energy transition and act as leading lights.

Their role is to guide the way by agreeing to spend time to passing on their values and presenting the initiatives they have put in place.

Then there are the entrepreneurs who know that the moment to take action is right now, that every day counts, but who need advice and support from their peers on how to make the transition.

They need practical solutions to implement best practice in their businesses as quickly as possible.

The Coq vert network rallies everyone to this collective challenge which we must all act on. For Les Jardins de Gaïa, it’s a chance to get advice in some areas, but also to pass on our knowledge in others where we we have acquired useful experience.

This sharing of knowledge is the key to success in a mutually supportive and common sense initiative which we 100% support.

How to become part of the Coq Vert network

Membership is free, but not automatic. Ademe and BPI France have set out the membership criteria: a company must clearly show its willingness to initiate a long-term transition process. Either it should have already followed an ecological or energy transformation programme in the last three years with the support of Ademe or BPI France or it should have been awarded a specific label identified by Ademe or the Ministry of Ecological Transition (for example ISO14001, Clé verte, Imprim’vert etc).

It can also come up with a solution to speed up the transition of its economic framework through the production of renewable energy.

Membership that reinforces our existing and future commitments

Joining the Coq vert network builds on what we are doing already and our existing philosophy in terms of sharing information and the measures we are taking to limit our impact on the environment as much as we can. We regularly participate in conferences and school visits to tell people about our values and the way our company works. This supportive and educational approach is ingrained in our DNA.

Over the years we have also supported the efforts of our producers to preserve the biodiversity and the environment that are at the heart of our business.

This is happening in many areas – whether in terms of training, adapting agricultural practices to climate change, waste collection, reduction of the carbon footprint etc. For example, between 2018 and 2020, our company paid nearly €600,000 euros in the form of grants to our main suppliers.

We also seek to preserve this biodiversity through projects that inspire us and which we believe in. This is especially the case with our Militant Teas and Rooibos range which supports organisations particularly committed to biodiversity such as Kokopelli, Sea Shepperd,, the LPO, the  Amanins, the Projet pour la Conservation des Grands Singes (project for the protection of great apes) etc…

Between 2013 and 2020, nearly €160,000 euros was raised for these associations and their projects which are helping the planet.

These partnerships enable us to conduct discussions across a united network. For example, The LPO (the league for the protection of birds) has been a valuable partner in monitoring the biodiversity around our company’s premises (which has been classified as an LPO refuge since 2015) and in taking steps to improve it, for example by installing nest boxes and hedges, and creating biotopes etc. We have already taken many measures to reduce our environmental impact (eco-design, promoting refill attitude, using river transport, the Elephant Friendly label, etc.) and we still have many projects under consideration, which we will come back to.

Accurately measuring our carbon footprint – our next challenge

To this end and with the financial support of Ademe, we are currently in the process of establishing a full report in order to accurately measure our carbon footprint. The results of this diagnosis will allow us to put in place all the relevant measures possible, and discussions about the experiences of others within the Coq Vert network will be invaluable.

Écrit par Les Jardins de Gaïa

Pionniers sur le marché des thés et tisanes bio et équitables, Les Jardins de Gaïa proposent, depuis 1994, des grands crus nature, des classiques et des créations maison originales. Privilégiant les petits producteurs et les récoltes manuelles, ils ont développé au fil des années une gamme généreuse et variée de thés, rooibos et tisanes aux qualités gustatives reconnues, ainsi qu’une gamme d’épices bio et prémiums proposée sous la marque Terra Madre. Tel un jardin épanoui, la force des Jardins de Gaïa tient dans la diversité des terroirs et l’engagement des hommes qui la travaillent…

Notre Maison de thé