How green is your coffee shop?

Last week I spoke at Footprint Forum’s Thought Leaders & Innovators Partnering event. I was on the Sustainable Procurement panel talking about Cafédirect’s innovative businesses model, which 20 years ago went against the coffee industry. Instead of procuring coffee through anonymous auctions, we went direct to the smallholder farmers, hence getting them a better price.


Foodservice Footprint thumbcafe-direct How green is your coffee shop? Best Practice  Thought Leaders & Innovators Conference & Partnering Event Footprint Forum EcoToolkit Coffee Shops Cafedirect









Although our business model was very innovative and shook up the procurement model for coffee, it was a new innovation I attended the event to promote, an innovation that sits at the other end of our supply chain, in consumption. Our new EcoToolkit, helps cafes, restaurants and venues reduce their environmental impact.


When we first carried out a study to identify the environmental impact of our products; we were surprised to learn that the biggest carbon footprint doesn’t come from shipping or even growing. It’s in fact in the consumption and particularly when our hot drinks are served in foodservice venues. It might be the electricity required by the espresso machines or the environmental impact of all those paper cups.


As we don’t own the outlets that sell our hot beverages, this was not an area we could directly control, so instead we created an EcoToolkit which would help venues identify simple ways they can reduce their environmental impacts.


This foodservice forum was therefore perfect to promote the tool to a wider audience, and being a free online tool which anyone can use, whether they are our customers or not, it didn’t make it a hard sell!


The toolkit covers Energy, Water, Waste and Procurement. It gives advice and actions, many of which also help save the venue money. The recommendations range from how to track energy consumption to ensuring the espresso machine runs efficiently.


If you run a venue that serves hot drinks, see what more you can do reduce your impacts?