Not a sustainable brand
Sustainability is ‘the ability to exist constantly’. We acknowledge that the coffee industry is complex and based on deeply rooted practices that often take more than the planet can give; similarly, it is not equally fair to all workers in the supply chain. The global coffee industry, and we as a tiny fraction of it, can’t be called sustainable.
However, we believe there’s room for change. We promise to be part of a paradigm shift that puts social and environmental outcomes at the same level as financial success, building an economy (and planet) that can exist over time and eventually does not generate irreversible harm.
We are not a sustainable brand—but sustainability is our primary driver.
Emissions offsetting—work in progress
The topic of net zero, carbon neutrality and certifications has been an ongoing puzzle in our headquarters for years. And we’re still trying to figure out how to approach it. Measuring emissions is costly, but we understand it’s necessary.
At the same time, we’ve found the world of certifications and offsets grey, confusing, pricey and, in many cases, unethical. Until more trust and transparency exist, we’ll keep reducing externalities and offering financial support to organisations that work in forest preservation and regeneration.
Our electricity is 100% GreenPower
Our roastery and cafes buy 100% GreenPower for the electricity supply. It’s an electricity scheme that feeds to the grid the equivalent of our total consumption using power from renewable sources.
Gas: We still depend on it, but we’re more efficient with Loring
The core of our business—roasting—still relies on gas, a fossil fuel. With our latest switch to a Loring machine, we expect to optimise our consumption due to a more efficient design. According to the manufacturer, there are “Up to 80% fuel savings and reduction of greenhouse gases in every roast compared to conventional roasters.”
However, we’re still dependent on gas, and we will probably be for a good number of years until electric roasters are more available and match the quality—or until gas is unavailable altogether.
We’ll keep an eye on them and also on electric vans for our local deliveries.
Towards a shift in takeaway culture
The best possible solution to cutting waste from takeaway cups is not offering them. But the habit of grabbing a coffee in a single-use cup is ingrained in our community. Who should take the initiative: the cafes not offering cups or the customers not asking for them? It’s a thought always on our minds.
For now, we incentivise using BYO cups through a 20-cent discount per coffee (or a 20-cent tax on disposable). Still, about 60% of the coffees we serve each year are in disposable cups. What else could we do as a small business and community to instil change? We’re open to ideas.
We’re transitioning into compostable packaging and stationery
We are actively looking for vegetable-based and home-compostable packaging and stationary elements. This is where we’re at:
Coffee bean bags: vegetable-based (pending the ABA Home Compostable Verification).
Drip and steeped bag sachets: home compostable (OK Compost Home TUV Austria certified)
Drip and steeped bag sachets: commercially/industrially compostable
Takeaway cups and lids: commercially/industrially compostable
Shipping boxes: recyclable
Valves: general waste
Circularity: It’s a start
Our local wholesale blend deliveries are made in reusable containers that get picked up each week after use. We also offer some of our blends in Returnr tins for homebrewing customers.
Our kitchen pushes for lower waste
Much of the environmental impact comes through the food and drinks we serve through our bar and kitchens. We wrote a journal post on how our kitchen staff deliberately designs our menu and servings for zero waste, prioritising local and seasonal.
We prioritise ethical business partners
Whenever we need a new product or service, first we think twice about it: “Do we really need to print that?” Then, we research its materials, process and life after use: “How is it made? How will it behave after the customers or we use it?”
We are critical of our actions and those of the companies or services we hire. We prioritise those who strive for high quality and care for more than the bottom line.
We share our profits and give back
Each of our retail coffee bag sales donates 20 cents to social and environmental causes.
Other little things
We use Ecosia as our main search engine.
Most of our team lives within 30km.
Our coffee sacks and schaff get used and composted in local gardens.