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Davidson’s Organics is recognized around the world for its exclusively organic tea products as well as its sustainable business practices.

But even with the company’s well-earned reputation, co-owner Kunall Patel figures Davidson’s Organics always can do even better as it strives toward its goal of completely eco-friendly sourcing and manufacturing.

That’s the spirit that led Davidson’s Organics to become recognized as an Innovator, the highest tier of certification awarded by the Nevada Green Business Network. In fact, the company headquartered in Sparks was the first manufacturer in Nevada to reach that summit.


Green Business Measures

Kunall, who learned about the Nevada Green Business Network’s certification program at an industry sustainability event two years ago, says the company already was committed to 70 to 80 percent of the requirements established by the certification program.

As the largest vertically integrated organic tea manufacturer in North America, Davidson’s Organics works closely with more than 3,000 small farmers in India — and several hundred in other tea-growing regions around the world — to ensure that agricultural practices honor nature, wildlife and people for harmony and co-existence.

Sustainability long has been a hallmark of the company’s manufacturing, as well. It ships tea in recyclable packaging — paper-lined jute bags or cardboard — and uses biodegradable and compostable packaging material whenever possible. Tea waste from the manufacturing operation is composted.

Still, Kunall says Davidson’s Organics saw opportunities to further improve the sustainability of its operations as it moved into a large new manufacturing and distribution facility in Sparks.

Working with advisors from Nevada Green Business Network, members of the company’s management team divided up the tasks on the certification checklist and got to work.

A big item was improvement of energy efficiency at the new 50,000-square-foot facility. Motion-sensor LED lighting was installed. Walls were painted high-gloss white to reflect light throughout the building, and new skylights were installed. Floors were coated with a natural, eco-friendly epoxy. Every air gap from floor to ceiling was sealed, cellulose insulation was installed and heating units were relocated to provide optimal performance.

Three-phase power supplies improved the efficiency of existing manufacturing equipment. Manufacturing processes were analyzed to minimize waste.

Green Business Benefits

While Kunall says the wide-ranging improvements have proven cost-effective, he acknowledges that some of the changes in manufacturing practices slightly slowed production output.

“But,” he adds. “They were the right things to do.”

The company sees multiple benefits from its commitment to the Nevada Green Business Network certification program.

Most important, Kunall says Davidson’s Organics has built its business on its reputation for organic, eco-friendly and sustainable practices. Any steps the company takes to strengthen its performance in those areas enhances its brand and reinforces its relationship with its customers.

“Talk with your suppliers. Talk with other businesses,” he says. “You can learn a lot from them. All of this is an opportunity to learn and implement the very best practices.”

The certification program also spotlights the company’s mission for its employees.

“We are purveyor of organic tea,” Kunall says. “That is the essence of who we are. This program emphasizes that we should strive to live up to that mission.”

For all that Davidson’s Organics learned through the formal process of earning Innovator certification, Kunall says his informal conversations with other green businesses have proven to be valuable as well.



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