The Good Charcoal Company

Sustainable grilling

1 minute read

Charcoal often comes from South America under dubious environmental circumstances, but Good Charcoal Company’s products are sourced from overgrown Namibian acacia, which reduces biodiversity and groundwater recharge when left unchecked. By employing local ranchers to harvest trees, the company helped restore 40,000 acres of grasslands in southeast Africa last year. With no added chemicals, acacia charcoal—the first charcoal certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to be sold in the U.S.—emits 30% less CO2, the company says. Despite fears that sustainability buy-in would be difficult in the U.S., especially in the barbeque-loving South, sales have grown more than tenfold since the product’s 2021 launch. "We're really waving a flag and saying, 'Hey, there's a better way," CEO Ben Jablonski says. His company’s pure-wood lump charcoal is now available at major retailers including the Home Depot and Target, and a new line of composite briquettes went on sale at Lowe's this year.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at