Salt Spring Coffee is proud to be named (for the third time!) Best for the World by B Corporation.
Now in its sixth year, the Best for the World list recognizes those businesses that are creating the most positive environmental impact in the global B Corp community. Salt Spring Coffee had made the Best for the World list twice before, in 2012 and 2016. Honourees scored in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations based on an independent and comprehensive assessment administered by the nonprofit B Lab.
Forbes Magazine calls the Best for the World honourees, the most important list of businesses in the world. Fast growth is one measure of a business’s success, but it is no longer enough. The world needs businesses that are both high growth and high impact. We are proud to be part of a movement that inspires businesses to compete not to be best in the world, but to be best for the world.
Our journey to now
For two decades, sustainability and social responsibility have been an integral part of the Salt Spring Coffee story.
We have been a Certified B Corp since 2010—and we renew our certification every two years. For us, being a B Corp means focusing on more than just coffee. We care about the impact we have on our workforce, our suppliers, our community and our planet.
In 2012, we launched the Fair to Farmer program to encompass all of Salt Spring Coffee’s fair-trade practices—from our direct-trade relationships with an international network of small-scale coffee growers and co-operatives, to our Institute for Marketecology (IMO) Fair for Life certification. Together, these initiatives ensure that human rights are guaranteed at every stage of our coffee’s production, that workers enjoy good and equitable working conditions, and that coffee farmers receive a fair share.
That same year, we became the first Canadian coffee company to join 1% for the Planet. Since then, we have donated at least 1% of every Salt Spring Coffee purchase to nonprofit environmental organizations and sustainability initiatives, with an emphasis on organic farming both at coffee origin and closer to home. Through that program, we’ve done things like provide solar panels to Nicaraguan farms, help build a coffee cupping lab for the Bukonzo Joint Co-operative Union in Uganda and facilitate the purchase of a delivery truck for Sole Food Farms here in Vancouver.
We also teamed up with LOCO BC, a local business alliance, to help reduce landfill waste. Together, we created the Zero Hero program, which provides businesses with tools to reduce their waste and greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. In addition to running a pilot program with businesses like Edible Canada, Uprising Breads Bakery and University Golf Course, we took part in the challenge ourselves. Since 2015, we have diverted 93% of our waste from landfills and sent all of our roasting by-products (chaff, coffee grounds and burlap bags) to local organic farmers or composting facilities.
In 2015, we launched Salt Spring Coffee’s first annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which outlines key sustainability efforts and documents our performance on key metrics. It’s a chance for us to be transparent with our customers and invite discussion on the issues that matter most to them.
For our Best for the World challenge in 2016, we asked you to join us in our mission towards zero waste and say no to disposable cups for 21 days. It turns out, there are a lot of you who are just as passionate as we are about zero waste! Throughout the challenge, we reduced landfill and we proved that small changes in our daily lifestyle can add up to big change.
What lies ahead
Recently, there has been some forward momentum from the City of Vancouver to get to zero waste by looking at reducing single use items such as coffee cups. We look forward to sharing our years of experience and joining that conversation.