Pukka's Social Responsibility Policy
Pukka is leading a herbal health and wellbeing revolution in response to the health challenges our society and planet face. Our organic herbal creations – including teas and supplements – are inspired by the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and artistry of nature, reflecting our knowledge of plants and love of the world.
Pukka's mission: Our herbal creations are crafted to connect as many people as possible to the beauty and power of nature. We share our knowledge and campaign for a healthier world, always trying to lead by example.
This Social Responsibility Policy is our commitment to benefitting people, plants and planet as part of doing business. We recognise that our business has a direct and powerful impact on the:
- wellbeing of our employees and others who work for and with us from time to time,
- lifestyle and wellbeing of our customers and consumers
- livelihood and environment of our suppliers, especially our growing and processing communities all over the world
- wider communities in Bristol and other places our business touches
- Health and longevity of our beautiful and inspirational planet earth
- Business and political systems around the world
Pukka is committed in the long term to be a socially responsible business which works to create a Pukka Planet benefiting people, plants and planet through its own transformative practices and influencing the actions of others. The word ‘pukka’ means ‘genuine and authentic’ and it’s at the heart of everything we do. From the incredible 100% organic herbs we use, carefully sourced from over 50 countries worldwide, to the fact that all our teas and an increasing number of our supplements are Fair for Life certified. We engage with our essence through our ‘Wisdom Seeds’, or values. These are the universal wisdom principles of Truth, Respect, Purity and Effort.
Our Social Responsibility Policy is inspired by the Hindi proverb “Help your brother’s boat across and your own will reach the shore”. Pukka is growing fast as a business and we want to make sure we grow together with the people we work with and who work for us, positively improving the environments we touch and as a force for good. We work to continuously improve the way everyone in our value chain, or as we say, ‘from crop to cup’, benefits from the power of plants and working with us. For us, it’s about using business as a force for positive social and environmental change. As part of our Social Responsibility vision, we’ve actively committed to have a demonstrable net-positive impact on people, plants and planet.
This Policy, in association with our Wisdom Seeds and company purpose, is our guiding light for how we’ll treat our employees and workers, support our planet and interact with any community we come into contact with (like our suppliers, local groups around our operations, our customers and those who experience our products).
Our People and Community
We commit to be a socially responsible employer, caring about the individual, the environment, the community and the planet. We demonstrate our commitment by being Fair for Life and B Corp accredited. Both of which mean we take our responsibility to comply with, and better, national labor laws and be continuously improving seriously. We also actively review how we’re doing by running annual employee satisfaction surveys (Life at Pukka) and participating in external benchmarking, most recently Best Companies. These tools, amongst others, act as our compass for determining where further improvements can be made.
In practice this means we all (managers and employees) have rights and responsibilities in the following areas:
Basic workers' rights and conditions of employment
We go far beyond basic rights and conditions of employment for our workers, believing these are the foundation of a truly inspiring working environment and culture. The details of which are enshrined in our contracts of employment and People Policies. Everyone receives detailed terms before they join and are introduced to all our approaches through a comprehensive induction and onboarding program. And, our Wisdom Seeds enable us to hold each other to account daily – because of this we rarely call on more formal approaches such as disciplinary and grievance.
We encourage everyone to understand their rights and responsibilities and expect we will use appropriate forums when things are worth celebrating or when things are unacceptable or could be enhanced. Our Wellbeing and Dignity at Work Policies detail how those mechanisms work and in what circumstances you might call on them and if in any doubt our managers and People team are on hand to advise.
Examples of how our practice goes far beyond statutory obligations include:
- We pay Real Living Wage as a minimum to any worker at Pukka
- Placements, interns and assignments where work is actively undertaken are always paid
- Our generous Family Friendly provision
- Our Pukka Friends, who are Mental Health First Aider trained
We believe a genuinely flexible and inclusive approach to how we work will bring benefits to Pukka, to its people, to the environment and the wider community. True flexibility means we can continually evolve to meet the levels of pace and the demands of our growth, and there are numerous ways this is supported through our Flexible Engagement Policy. True inclusivity means we go further than meeting our demands and our Inclusion and Diversity Policy sets out our approach.
Our people’s wellbeing is of fundamental importance, without wellness in all aspects of life we cannot expect full engagement, high performance or flexible, agile and creative ways of working. We go beyond provision of basic services and offer a flexible, wellbeing oriented culture which enables individuals to bring their authentic selves to work. Our Wellbeing and Flexible Engagement policies detail our broad approach and a few examples are listed below:
- Spend £300 on activity which nurtures your wellbeing (Wellbeing Fund) and Pukka reimburses 75%
- Nourish Lunch – free lunch provided every Wednesday, regularly accompanied by an opportunity to nourish our minds too with external speakers and Herbal education
- Organic fruit and almonds as healthy snacks freely available at our premises
- Two-way communication tools to encourage questions, ideas sharing, etc., like The Vine, Pukka Pulse, Flash, our annual Life at Pukka surveys.
Occupational health and safety (also see Health and Safety policy)
Keeping our people safe: We will without question meet the legal requirements set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. As employers we commit to protecting the health, safety and welfare at work of all our employees, including temporary workers, self-employed, visitors and general public. We will manage occupational health and safety with the intention to go beyond everyday compliance. The Management of Health and Safety at Works Regulations 1999 provides framework to put in place arrangements to control health and safety risks. Our people will always be provided with information about the risks and how they are protected.
Beyond traditional health and safety requirements we offer our team (and their families) a comprehensive, proactive and entirely confidential Employee Assistance Program and on site our Pukka Friends (all trained Mental Health First Aiders) are easily available to anyone for a chat or further advice. This team also actively promote awareness and prompt conversation in this area and each year we improve our provision and build understanding.
Throughout 2020 our working arrangements have been very different and at times incredibly challenging for our people. Our Incident Management Team have met weekly, concerned with the health, safety and wellbeing of our people – ensuring our workplaces are COVID safe, moving the majority to home working and supporting both managers and employees with significant additional wellbeing advice and guidance.
Developing our people: “If you plant people in an environment, they like they will flourish, and they will bring you their best properties’. Our people are our strength and we invest, support and develop them on their journey at Pukka through our bespoke Learning & Development approach. There are 4 component parts that make up our learning DNA:
1. Herbal Tradition
2. Cultural Development
3. Leadership Development
4. Skills & Personal Development
Each of these is brought to life in a uniquely Pukka way, using a combination of online resources, face to face sessions, externally provided courses, in-nature events, many of which are identified for people through their My Journey development conversations.
Example events and activities include Learn over Lunch herbal training sessions, Chysalis and Chrysalis Evolves in-nature personal and cultural development learning, Mindfulness training giving us practical mindfulness-based tools for operating in the modern world, in 2020 a Mentoring pilot which will be fully rolled out in 2021 and Feel your Super Powers (building resilience in participants).
Every year we further develop and extend our people manager training to ensure all managers can build their knowledge and approach, we keep our sessions fresh and relevant and adjust content and delivery based on feedback from participants. For example, in 2020 this has meant delivering interventions entirely remotely.
Beyond this our people may also choose to learn and grow outside of Pukka and we offer everyone the opportunity to spend £300 on learning activity for their own personal pleasure or need and have 75% reimbursed (Development Fund).
Pukka people in the community: We actively encourage people to use their 4 paid volunteering days to support causes in our community that align with our mission to benefit people, plants and planet. Individuals may volunteer at places of their choice and we organize Mission Day activities too for everyone to join in with.
We commit to helping people discover a healthier, happier life through experiencing our teas and supplements and by sharing our herbal expertise. Our herbs are expertly blended using the wisdom of India’s ancient health system, Ayurveda, by our master herbsmith Sebastian Pole. This means that every Pukka herbal blend is created with its associated health benefits in mind. Our products will always be safe, and we commit any resource needed to ensure this.
Inherent in Pukka’s values, we also commit to transparency, honesty and clarity in all our communications and information we provide to our customers and consumers. It is important to us that our consumers understand what we already do well, and what we (and they) think we could do better, and how we aspire to achieve that. We achieve this in many ways, including through our Consumer Care teams, social media, sustainability report and the articles and FAQ sections on our website.
We take consumer complaints and feedback seriously, and use this information to improve our products and make other changes, as well as providing generous recompense where appropriate, such as with product complaints. In all our responses to our consumers we treat them with respect and we take a trusting approach.
(See also; Sourcing Policy, Supplier Relationship Policy, Sustainable Packaging Policy)
All activities related to sourcing of herbs for Pukka’s teas and supplements are guided by the four principles of organic farming: health, ecology, fairness and care.
The health and safety of suppliers, staff and customers are ensured through rigorous quality assurance systems, including organic certification and testing the quality of batch of every ingredient.
We commit to using fair certified ingredients where the need of the community along with the quality and availability are appropriate. Fair certification provides a framework to ensure social responsibility across the supply chain. Where fair certification is not available or appropriate we will always engage fairly with our suppliers.
We maintain a culture of transparency, trust and integrity. All supplier relationships are based on Pukka’s principles of partnership with emphasis on supporting indigenous people, farm laborer’s and women with fair prices and long-term commitments.
We believe the health of the individual is inseparable from the health of the environment, and therefore strive to support both equally through organic and fair sourcing. We strive to reduce carbon emissions, minimise waste and conserve resources, and to help farming and collection communities build resilience and adapt to the challenges of climate change.
Pukka’s Regenerative Strategy contains two overarching commitments related to environmental responsibility.
1. REGENERATIVE ORGANIC AGRICULTURE Everywhere our herbs are grown, we continue to invest in farming methods and supply chains that build resilience and have a positive impact on people and the planet.
We work with farmers and growers all over the world to source the best organic herbs for our herbal creations. We always seek to partner with those who are growing plants in a sustainable, organic way - protecting the environment, people and the wildlife around them. Our vision is to build a truly sustainable organic value chain. To work closely with our farmers and growers to find effective, natural, low-carbon, nature friendly ways to boost yields in a changing climate. We’ve established a Pukka Life Impact Fund to help our farmers and growers use these practices.
We use third-party certifications to ensure that all of the ingredients used in our herbal creations meet the absolute highest social and environmental standards.
2. FORCE FOR GOOD We are always striving to cultivate conscious living and reduce our environmental impact - and we want businesses and individuals to join us.
We want to inspire people to make conscious and sustainable choices in their daily lives – that goes for individuals and businesses alike. As a certified B Corp and For Life certified business, we truly believe business can be a force for good – and we’re always challenging ourselves to do more.
We have the following commitments related to our environmental impact:
- Achieving our Science Based Carbon reduction targets (as outlined in our Climate and Biodiversity Emergency Declaration)
- Carbon Net Zero across our value chain – from Crop to cup
- Sustainable packaging; as outlined in our Sustainable Packaging policy
- Zero waste in our operations
- We donate 1% of sales to environmental causes as part of our commitment to 1% for the Planet. The non-profits that we choose to support share our passion for connecting people with the power of nature and the health and wellbeing benefits of herbs.
We report annually on progress in our Sustainability Impact Report.
We commit to communicating this policy and its values to our team members, suppliers and other stakeholders and publicly via our website. We will review this policy annually as part of our ‘For Life’ certification process, in conjunction with our CSR Action Plan process. ‘For Life’ is a third-party verification that Pukka is a socially responsible business throughout our entire supply chain.