Runa

Tea

Brooklyn, New York

United States

runa.org

About Runa

Runa brews beverages from guayusa (gwhy-you-sa), an Amazonian super-leaf naturally packed with caffeinate and polyphenoal antioxidants. Guayusa, which is native to the biodiverse region where the Andes meet the Amazon, is brewed like tea and provides clear and focused energy – what the indigenous Kichwa people call “mental strength and courage.” 

Runa began as a conversation over tea, during the hours before sunrise in the Amazon rainforest. Together, Runa’s founders and Kichwa communities envisioned a business that could share energizing, rich-tasting guayusa with the world – a business that would respect cultural traditions, support small farmers, and maintain the integrity of the Amazon rainforest. Runa now buys guayusa leaves from over 2,300 farming families. Those leaves are processed in a plant in Ecuador and then shipped to the U.S. where they are shared with a growing number of people.

Runa is proving that businesses in the Amazon can be good for the environment and the preservation of traditional cultural practices while supporting producers and connecting them to consumers around the world. We couldn’t be more excited.

Guayusa brings communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon together, serving as a centerpiece of daily ceremonies where dreams, myths, and songs are shared. Runa has grown as an enterprise with this community focus at heart, and joining the B Corp community was a natural choice that has allowed us to build deeper partnerships as a triple-bottom-line organization.

The Change We Seek®

Runa works with indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon to promote sustainable development. The company accomplishes this through three main work areas:

• Economic development – Runa has created a new market for guayusa. While widely consumed throughout indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon, farmers have never had access to sell guayusa on the international market. By creating a Fair Trade market for guayusa, Runa has generated an alternative income stream that continues to raise the standard of living of indigenous farmers. Diversified incomes are more stable, as farmers with several income streams suffer less if one source falters. Additionally, Runa pays 15% on top of each sale into a social premium fund for the Napo Runa Artisan Association to use for community development projects.

• Social empowerment –Fundación Runa, our non-profit partner, works with the Napo Runa Artisan Association of guayusa producers to promote democracy and transparency in the Association. By strengthening the Association, farmers have a democratic forum to organize themselves and vocalize their needs and demands. Fundación Runa also works with farmers at the household level to improve financial literacy and empower female entrepreneurship.

• Environmental management – Guayusa is grown in biodiverse agroforestry plots, or chakras. In the Amazon, it is lucrative to cut down trees for timber or clear the rainforest for livestock and monocrop plantations. Now that Runa pays farmers for guayusa, the farmers have a financial incentive to keep old, native hardwood trees on their land so they can grow guayusa underneath. The forest gardens allow for the maintenance of rainforest ecosystems and provide buffer zones around and corridors between less-disturbed areas, which are important for plant and animal dispersal. Fundación Runa works with farmers to research the impacts and benefits guayusa production has on the local environment, and also works with local communities to help design land management plans that designate conservation areas and forest reserves. 

What makes us a better company?

B Impact Report

Certified since: 

March 2010
Summary:

Company Score

Median Score*

Environment

Environment

The Environment section of the Assessment evaluates a company's environmental performance through its facilities; materials, resource, and energy use; and emissions. Where applicable, it also considers a company's transportation/distribution channels and environmental impact of its supply chain. This section also measures whether a company's products or services are designed to solve an environmental issue, including products that aid in the provision of renewable energy, conserve resources, reduce waste, promote land/wildlife conservation, prevent toxic/hazardous substance or pollution, or educate, measure, or consult to solve environmental problems.

22
7
Workers

Workers

The Worker section of the survey assesses the company's relationship with its workforce. This section measures how the company treats its workers through compensation, benefits, training, and ownership opportunities provided to workers. It also focuses on the overall work environment within the company through management/worker communication, job flexibility and corporate culture, and worker health and safety practices.

17
18
Customers

Customers

The Customers section of the Assessment measures the impact a company has on its customers. The section focuses on whether a company sells products or services that promote public benefit, and if those products/services are targeted towards serving underserved populations. Questions in this section will measure whether a company's product or service is designed to solve a social or environmental issue (e.g. improves health, preserves environment or creates economic opportunity to individuals or communities, promotes the arts/sciences, or increases the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises).

N/A
N/A
Community

Community

The Community section of the survey assesses a company's impact on its community. The Community section evaluates a company's supplier relations, diversity, and involvement in the local community. The section also measures the company's practices and policies around community service and charitable giving. In addition, this section includes if a company's product or service is designed to solve a social issue, including access to basic services, health, education, economic opportunity, arts, and increasing the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises.

25
17
Governance

Governance

The Governance section of the Assessment evaluates a company's accountability and transparency. The section focuses on the company's mission, stakeholder engagement, and overall transparency of the company's practices and policies.

17
6
Overall B Score
81
55

80 out of 200 is eligible for certification

*Of all businesses that have completed the B Impact Assessment

*Median scores will not add up to overall

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Company Highlights: 

Workers: Pays >18% above living wage to hourly workers; Covers >80% of health insurance premiums for full-time employees; >20 paid vacation/personal days provided

Community: 100% of supply chain supports indigenous livelihoods and reforestation; Directly established and supports a charity to benefit communities in Ecuador; member of the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International; >40% of management is from underrepresented populations

Environment: Assesses the environmental impact of business activities; Extensive office recycling program; Worked with landlord to implement energy efficiency and water reduction programs

Consumers: 100% of bagged and bottled tea products are certified Fair Trade and Organic

Miscellany: 

Blogs/Feeds

• Profiled by Management Exchange Go»
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News

• Runa on FoxNews.com Go»