Is sustainable coffee possible? It takes a lot of people, resources, and energy to get coffee from where it’s grown on a farm to your morning cup. Just because coffee has a long journey, doesn’t mean we can’t practice a sustainable model in the process. From working with our farmers, to roasting at our headquarters, we continue to make sustainability a priority for everyone.
At The Farm
Last year, 60-70% of the coffee we sourced was Certified Organic Coffee and 40% was Fair Trade Certified. But how do certifications connect to sustainability? To receive any of these certifications, there are minimum standards that farms must meet. In addition to social and economic criteria, a big emphasis is put on environmental standards. This means that when we source certified coffees, we know the farms are using practices to preserve the land, create less waste, and use less resources. Over time, this also means that we can continue to work with and buy coffee from our farming partners because the land will continue to be fertile and can sustain coffee crops.
Once we receive the green coffee at our headquarters in Thornton, CO, it is roasted and packaged. Roasting coffee takes a substantial amount of energy, which is why we began partnering with Schneider Electric in 2008 to purchase carbon emission offsets.
We have much more than the roasting team at our headquarters. Sourcing, Quality Assurance, Accounting, Marketing, and Team Member Services all work out of the same building. And a lot of people can mean a lot of waste. In 2002, we started a composting and recycling program to help reduce the amount of waste generated by the day-to-day operations required to bring coffee to your cup, including all of the chaff from roasting (dried skin of the coffee bean that comes off during roasting). We also work with Trees, Water, People to plant five trees for every tree worth of paper we use.
There are small steps at every part of the process that can help make coffee more sustainable, both in the way we source it and the way we distribute it. And each year we continue to expand our sustainability practices. With a sustainable coffee model, we can ensure you’re able to keep enjoying coffee every morning.