For the sustainably minded, an environmentally friendly approach to coffee starts long before entering your establishment. A holistic sustainable coffee program can hold different meanings to different demographics. From green to fair trade to organic and energy efficient, there are many areas of opportunity to embrace the challenge of sustainability. Exploring these options allows you to control your coffee program’s sustainability story from start to finish.
One major hurdle operators face in building their sustainable coffee programs is defining what exactly sustainability means within the coffee industry. The Sustainability Council of the Specialty Coffee Association of America focuses on climate change, coffee farm profitability and labor shortages in order to foster an industry that can sustain itself over generations without depleting resources for coffee growers and drinkers to come.
Brew better: The machine. A machine that uses energy efficiently is going to bolster your sustainability claims and it will help your bottom line. Some coffee brewers like FETCO’s CBS-2152XTS are capable of saving an operator 44 to 62% annually in energy costs.
Be open: Your story. Whatever you’re doing to contribute to coffee sustainability, let your customers know. For many customers, especially Millennials and Gen Z-ers, transparency is crucial. Let them know if your beans are certified and what this certification means for the industry as a whole and for them as customers. If your equipment is using less energy, let your customers know that your company and physical establishment are diminishing their impact on natural resources.
Is it feasible for every coffee program to have a watertight sustainability story? Probably not. But improving your coffee program helps improve the coffee industry internationally, while satisfying what has become essential for many coffee drinkers. Adding value in one or two places heightens your credibility as an establishment and fosters trust with a group of coffee drinkers who might not buy from you without it.