The Tea Room

Member Since: 2016

Baseline Year: 2015

Baseline GHG Emissions: 8.50 tonnes CO2-equivalent


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About the Member:

  • The Tea Room is a zero consumer waste, student-run coffee shop on Queen’s University campus. Since its establishment in 2006, the organization has been founded on three pillars: Environmental Responsibility, Community Education, and Fiscal Sustainability. The cafe specializes in loose-leaf tea, coffee, and espresso while offering a variety of wholesome lunch and snack options.

  • Click here for the Tea Room's full Sustainability Case Study!

Highlighted Sustainability Projects:


  • Provides incentives to customers to bring reusables: 15% off drinks with a travel mug, $15 off bagels and $1 off sandwiches with tupperware


  • Upgraded lighting to LED

  • Reduced 4% of GHGs


  • All Tea Room products and packaging are biodegradable, and linked to a commercial composting waste flow (e.g. plant-based "plastic" lids)

  • Power Down for the Planet educational campaign continued to promote how to live more sustainably at home (ongoing).

  • Partnership with Queen’s University Experimental Sustainability Team to review and improve business sustainability (ongoing)


  • Published an internal Compost and Waste Management Report.

  • Contracted thinkBIG consulting on sustainable business and published a recommendations report.

  • The Tea Room formed a partnership with the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation's Corporate Carbon Neutral Program


  • The Tea Room achieved carbon-neutral status with respect to its operations.

  • Inauguration of the annual Teas for Trees campaign (ongoing)


  • Green Globe Award - Waste Reduction from CEEC


  • Official zero consumer waste status reached, all products and packaging were diverted from landfill.


  • Promotional partnership with the annual Commerce and Engineering Environmental Conference (CEEC) (ongoing) 

  • Greener and Cleaner educational campaign 


  • The Tea Room has maintained a Bullfrog Power membership since 2008.

  • Weekly Planet Earth screening in the Tea Room in association with Students Taking Responsible Initiatives for a Viable Environment (STRIVE)


  • Sustainable business class talk at KCVI 

  • Development of HATCH metric system to measure water and energy cosumption 

  • Introduction of the Tea Room Environmental Education Library (ongoing) 


  • Vermicomposting system on site 

  • Introduction of biodegradable cups and packaging 

  • Selling Fairtrade tea and coffee and locally sourced food items (ongoing) 

  • Partnership with a coffee co-op in Guatemala (ongoing)

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: