Claims of being carbon neutral or even carbon negative abound as businesses and individuals want to be perceived as at the forefront of fighting climate change, but perception is not always reality and there is quite a bit of smoke and mirrors when it comes to making climate claims. In truth, carbon neutral and net zero are difficult to attain and it is a long painstaking process that involves lots of decisions (many of which are unpalatable and expensive!). There are easy ways to make claims to be carbon neutral by only counting your direct emissions or by buying carbon credits but to us this is really not in the spirit of taking responsibility for the carbon emissions we are responsible for in the first place!
When we started to address our carbon emissions as a business, our first task was to determine the CO2 number in tonnes that our direct activities were contributing to climate change and what carbon intensity we were generating. I must admit that I was firstly taken aback, then had feelings of guilt and then motivated to do something about it!!
Our emissions are divided between what is directly within our control and are identified as scope 1 and 2, these typically include items such as waste, electricity, water and fuel to name but a few. We also sought to capture the emissions that arise from our supply chain (identified as scope 3 emissions). These emission arise from the demand and supply of our activities such as the carbon emissions of growing and harvesting coffee, transportation etc but also the emissions from making coffee by our customers at their premises’ as well as the impact of how the packaging and waste coffee is disposed of. The amount of scope 3 emissions completely overshadows the scope 1 and 2 emissions and this is what makes managing the journey to net zero / carbon neutral such a challenge.
So what have we tried to do! A huge thrust of our business is to extend the useful life of our equipment by repair and refurbishment of our coffee machines, this has a massive impact on reducing carbon emissions as it lengthens the useful life of the equipment, we have also introduced more compostable and recyclability into our packaging and coffee cups, we also work with our customers to try and ensure that waste coffee gets composted which reduces their methane gas emissions in landfill and this lessens the carbon impact by 25 times. Our Woodland Coffee project plants trees based on the number of cases of coffee being sold; while the carbon captured from this activity is not immediate, the benefit will occur over the lifetime of the trees and while it doesn’t reduce our carbon footprint today it does give a really warm feeling inside that our activities today will have a lasting positive impact into the future, which is really something to feel good about. A positive legacy for future generations.
These are just some of the initiatives that we are currently working on at the moment that have real measurable benefits in driving down our carbon number, if you would like to find out more, or be apart of what we are doing, please drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you.
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