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 with all workers in the supply chain. The global coffee industry, and we as a tiny fraction of it, can’t be identified as sustainable.
However, we believe this can change if everyone walks in the same direction. We are committed to being part of a paradigm shift that puts social and environmental outcomes at the same level as financial success, building an economy that can exist over time and does not generate irreversible harm.
While we are not a sustainable brand, but sustainability is certainly our major aspiration.
Measuring to reduce our GHG emissions
Our goal is to leave no trace. This means, ultimately, producing net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions derived from our trade. Yeah, it is a rather complex topic and probably even harder achievement, but many organisations and individuals to work towards this.
Our journey towards carbon neutrality starts by measuring the impact of the different operating areas. From energy supply to waste and transportation. We are beginning to crunch numbers, and we’ll publish the information as soon as it comes.
Towards a circular economy: our coffee bags and the swap system
Circular economy is about eliminating waste by finding continuous use for all products and byproducts.
Our coffee bags are made of recyclable soft plastics. At the end of their first life containing our beans, customers can dispose of them at collection points or back at our Pro Shop. From here, the Plastic Police collects and gives them a new life as, for example, urban furniture.
In line with this circular mindset, we have a few swap systems that let our ongoing local customers get their takeaway goods while creating zero waste. From our wholesale tins to our coffee cups, food bowls and bean containers.
We advocate for the use of reusable wares. While the habits change, we choose to offer fully recyclable packaging
In an ideal world, all of our customers would take a moment to dine-in at ours, or use their BYO/swap containers for takeaway. The reality is a bit different: there is still a large customer base who asks for takeaway in disposables.
We want to help speed up the behavioural change by introducing incentives that reward zero waste habits. We have a 20 cent surcharge on takeaway goods on disposables, we’ve introduced the swap system and we avoid publishing images of those in our media.
On our journey to that utopia (perhaps not that far away), we have chosen Australian made and fully recyclable takeaway packaging, like our bamboo + bioplastic cups and lids, our paper + plastic food containers, and our recyclable plastic coffee bags.
The compostable myth
Did you know that many of those disposable containers and cups that claim to be compostable are only so when done at a commercial facility? Did you know that not many councils offer a compostable materials collection system right now?
This means that those cups and lids end up in the landfill unless these systems are accessible. For this is the reason, we’ve decided to stick to recyclable materials until composting services are widespread and available around our local government area.
Our menu is thoughtfully designed for a lower impact
Much of the environmental impact comes through the food and drinks we serve through our bar and kitchens. We know that improvements can be made while still offering a creative menu that is lower on emissions.
We wrote a journal post on how our kitchen staff deliberately designs our menu and servings for zero waste, prioritising local and seasonal. Moreover, we are starting to cut progressively on products from water-intensive industries, like meat and almond milk.
Our electricity is carbon-neutral and 100% certified GreenPower
Sample Coffee roastery and cafes buy 100% GreenPower, an electricity scheme that feeds to the grid the equivalent to our total consumption using power from renewable sources. Old Gold is still not in this program, as we are not in control of the provider, but it’s up next in our list.
We do business with those who operate responsibly
Whenever we need a new product and service, first we think twice about it: “Do we really need to print that?” Then, we research about its materials, its process and its life after use: “How is it made? How is it going to behave after the customers or we use it?”
We are critical with our own actions but also with those of the companies or services we hire. Whenever we can, we prioritise those who not only have a great product but are also trying to do better for their community.
We share our profits and give back to the land
Each of our retail coffee bag sales donates 20 cents to planting native trees with the Carbon Neutral Charity Foundation. We are also part of the World Coffee Research Program, a global organisation that works in the field and the labs for a brighter future for coffee.
Other little things
We use Ecosia as our main search engine.
Most of our staff lives locally and walks, bikes or shares rides to come to work.
Our coffee sacks and schaff gets used and composted in local gardens.