Our primary objective for managing the company’s environmental impact is to take responsibility for our footprint and support the regeneration of the priority ecosystems we source from. Guayakí is actively reducing our GHG emissions, taking steps to improve our water stewardship activities, tracking and reducing our waste and packaging, and supporting land biodiversity and preservation where our producers source yerba mate.
In 2021, we focused our efforts in developing an in-house GHG emissions and forecasting model, expanding GHG data reporting to include all North and South America operations, and establishing a 2021 GHG baseline aligned with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (GHG Protocol). We also developed a more robust GHG reduction strategy, which commits to developing science-based GHG reduction targets and neutralizing residual emissions (if present) through insetting with yerba mate producer communities, which is something we continually assess as part of our ongoing GHG reduction efforts.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report has consistently listed water crises as a top risk in terms of global impact. In 2021, Guayakí contracted a 3rd party consultant to measure our water footprint and water-related risks using 2020 data.
To gain a better understanding of the post-purchase waste footprint of our packaging, in 2021 we conducted research on the impact of aluminum consumption. Aluminum cans are a highly recyclable and practical packaging option and have also become a greater percentage of our product sales. Aluminum can be recycled and reused in beverage production repeatedly unlike other materials, and on average they contain 70% post-consumer or secondary material. However, the production of primary (virgin) aluminum can cause heavy pollution, health and human rights issues for laborers and nearby communities, and high GHG emissions. Secondary aluminum, on the other hand, requires up to 95% less energy to produce and can retain the same material quality of primary aluminum.
Post-Consumer or Plant-Based
Guayakí is on a path to obtain worldwide recognition for shaded yerba mate systems within the Araucaria Forest, a critical step toward ensuring broad based ecological biodiversity and land preservation in the region. Guayakí’s South American team regularly engages in conversations and forums with government agencies and producers, supporting the case for shaded yerba mate as a pathway for the protection and regeneration of Atlantic Forest remnants and strengthening of local communities in the region.
Tree Species Observed
Mammal Species Observed
Bird Species Observed
Rare & Endangered Species
The Guayakí Brazil team partnered with a network of smallholders and cooperatives, indigenous communities, research institutes, universities and the Public Ministry to work and submit a formal proposal for the recognition of the Traditional Shaded and Agroecological Yerba Mate Systems in the landscapes of the Araucaria in the Atlantic Forest in Parana State, as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems. In December, an international FAO mission visited the region to learn more about these systems and hear from communities, including Guayakí partners, such as Guarani elder Nelson Florentino, from Rio da Areia.
In 2021, Guayakí Paraguay implemented the first 12 acres of yerba mate in the Mbaracayu Reserve in Alliance with the Fundación Moisés Bertoni. This was done in a portion of the Reserve which had been degraded, making it a secondary forest area, and allowed for planting of yerba mate with limited interventions. The plan is to continue to plant over the next several years to reach 124 acres by 2024 with Guayakí then purchasing the mature yerba mate from Fundación Moisés Bertoni. As part of this project, Guayakí Paraguay also built a mandala garden for use in the Mbaracayu Reserve. The proceeds will help FMB protect the 158,147 acres of the Mbaracayu Reserve and contribute to the self-sustainability of an all-girls school that operates within its bounds. The school hosts approximately 120 girls at one time, where they finish high school with qualifications in agriculture and hospitality. At the same time, students learn the importance of protecting the forest and transmit these values to their own families and communities.
As a company, we realize the importance of not only buying yerba mate but giving producers the knowledge and experience they need to maintain, improve, and replicate sustainable production models. After almost 20 years of working with the Aché Kue Tuvy community in Paraguay, they now have 148 acres of organic shade grown yerba mate. During these years, they have also gained the unique knowledge of how to best implement yerba mate parcels in forest areas, while maintaining biodiversity and regenerating degraded areas. In 2021, Guayakí contracted the professional services of the Aché to map, outline, organize, and implement the planting of 12 acres of yerba mate in a new project area.
One of our hidden cameras in the Reserve captured a beautiful jaguar. This species is considered an “umbrella species” because its presence speaks of a healthy and biodiverse ecosystem. Being detected for the first time, we had the honor of naming the jaguar. We chose “Guayakí”, honoring the Aché Guayakí community with this gesture.