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Shrinking our carbon footprint, one step at a time

• By lisapratt • Sustainability

In honour of our Best for the World Challenge, we’re taking a closer look at all the ways that Salt Spring Coffee strives to make a difference when it comes to sustainability. This week, the journey to shrink our carbon footprint, one step at a time.

How much carbon is in a bag of coffee?

Going carbon-neutral

Salt Spring Coffee was an early adopter when it comes to measuring and managing our carbon footprint and impact. The vast majority of our emissions—more than 70%—comes from burning natural gas to roast our green coffee beans

In 2007, Salt Spring Coffee became one of the world’s first carbon-neutral coffee companies by monitoring energy use and tracking, minimizing and offsetting emissions. To be sure, we had our carbon footprint calculated and verified by an independent third party called Climate Smart.

Calculating coffee’s carbon footprint

In 2010, we worked with Offsetters, the organization supplying our carbon offsets at the time, to get a better sense of how much carbon is in a 400-gram bag of Salt Spring Coffee. Together, we conducted a full lifecycle analysis of our classic French Roast. The results were surprising.

Raw materials processing, transportation, production and retail distribution accounted for just 37% of total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. An astonishing 63% of our coffee’s carbon footprint came from consumers during brewing (39%) and waste disposal (24%). Check out the video for details.

Offsetting our carbon impact

In 2013, we refocused our carbon management efforts. Instead of relying on third-party offsets to achieve carbon neutrality, we doubled down on reducing energy use within our own company and began investing directly in projects that reduce emissions and improve lives in our coffee-farming communities.

Salt Spring Coffee's Best for the World ChallengeWhat can you do?

Get smart about how you brew and consume coffee and how you dispose of your coffee waste. If you haven’t yet joined Salt Spring Coffee’s Best for the World Challenge, there’s still time. Say no to disposable cups for 21 days for a chance to win a year’s supply of Salt Spring Coffee and six handcrafted mugs.

Take our Best for the World Challenge


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