Green Efforts: Guayaki Yerba Mate

This months Green Item highlights one of Sebastopol’s favorite businesses, Guayaki; a shinning example of a successful business, that is environmentally and socially conscious. A member of Sonoma Counties business community since 1996, they are always looking at ways to increase their positive impact on the planet. Sustainability is a key word used frequently with in the Guayaki family; a word that is not taken lightly, but engrained in their culture.  From “seed to shelf” they take into consideration all aspects of sustainability:  social, environmental, cultural and economic sustainability.  Guayaki’s sustainability is reflected in their growing practices, supplier relationships, product packaging and life cycle. The price premium Guayaki pays to grower partners directly incentivizes them to not only sustain their existing forest, but to actively restore the forest to increase biodiversity.  Guayakí is the only mate company in the world that is both certified organic and certified Fair Trade.

Guayaki has gone to great length to ensure that their products are as environmentally friendly as possible. Guayaki’s packaging material is a minimum of 100% recycled corrugated cardboard with 30% post consumer, although most are 100% post-consumer waste. Their packaging peanuts are made of plant based materials (dissolve in water) or salvaged and cleaned from other companies that they collect from inbound materials. Their bottle shipper cases are completely recyclable, non-petroleum based, and made of 100% post consumer recycled corrugated board. This is a first in the industry and Guayaki is proud to say they pioneered these new boxes!  The paper used for inserts, invoices, brochures, etc is always made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper.

All invoices, flyers, brochures and other paper materials printed for their customers and vendors are 100% recycled post consumer waste material or the highest post consumer content available.  Guayaki never uses virgin paper materials in anything they print for business.  Their office recycles, reuses, and reduces as a daily practice.  Guayaki uses real dishes and cups (and gourds) and wash them instead of using paper or plastic.

Guayaki has turned their facilities into power producers, converting its entire operation to 100% renewable energy by transferring all of its conventional electrical power usage to renewable solar energy.  Guayaki offsets over 55 tons of corporate CO2 footprints…locally. In tandem with this commitment, Guayaki has purchased enough solar power to offset the carbon 1 energy market in a similar way the purchase of a Guayakí product helps drive more reforestations.

Guayaki has done a tremendous job of treating the communities and people with the utmost respect. They become intimately involved with partnering farmers and encourage the cultivation under native rainforest trees. This promotes the preservation of forests, and in addition, they work with the farmers to reforest native hardwood species. Once a farmer agrees to partner with Guayaki, they provide technical advice on how to create nurseries, help them manage the organic growing process from cultivation through harvest and then buy what they produce. The farmers, in turn, must repopulate their rain forest with the native hardwood trees — which restores the land to its original shaded, biodiverse state — and provides a living wage and fair working conditions.

Because of the above mentioned reasons and many more Oliver’s is proud to highlight Guayaki as May’s Green Item of the Month. We would like to thank Guayaki for having the foresight and consciousness to be a leader in sustainable business. With shinning examples like Guayaki perhaps we can drive all businesses to do what is right for the environment, and those who live in it. For more information on all the amazing ways Guayaki is improving our planet visit their website at:

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