The results are in! Our continued efforts to reduce our environmental impact over the past eight years are paying off in a big way. Since we began our journey towards becoming a more sustainable business we have reduced our carbon footprint by 50%!
With the increasing impact climate change is having on the coffee industry, it was important for us to take responsibility for the impact of our business on the environment. Nations and cities around the world have been setting goals to reduce emissions by 2020 in order to heed global warming and retain within 2 degrees average temperature increase and we wanted to be part of the solution. Being carbon neutral is about more than just purchasing offsets so we set to work on reducing our impact.
So how did we do it!?
We first measured our carbon footprint in 2008 and immediately started offsetting our emissions with Offsetters, becoming one of BC’s first carbon neutral coffee roasters.
Our Carbon Footprint Report from Synergy Enterprises showed us which areas of our operations were having the greatest impact and more importantly, where we had the greatest opportunity to reduce our emissions: shipping, waste and energy (natural gas & electricity).
We started by changing our shipping practices for our direct-trade green beans. By ensuring that our beans were traveling by sea instead of land (ocean transportation has lower emissions per km than most land transport) we were able to reduce our carbon footprint by 101 tones of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per year – about the same as taking 27 cars off the road.
For waste, we aimed at keeping as much waste from the landfill as possible. This meant installing a 7 stream waste sorting station at each location and adjusting our purchasing practices to ensure we were buying products that could easily be recycled at the end of their life. Our biggest win was partnering with Island Java Bags and local farms to keep the burlap bags we use for shipping green beans, out of the landfill. All these efforts combined have help us keep 95% of our waste from the landfill.
Energy consumption was the next big project. We started by re-routing waste heat from our roasters to heat our offices reducing our electricity consumption (and no, this did not make our offices smell like coffee… they already smelled that way!). In 2015, we installed two high-efficiency Loring roasters that cut our natural gas use by 76% while increasing the control we had over our roasts. Lower impact, higher quality. #winning
By making sustainability one of our core values, we have changed the way we do business.