🌱 Becoming a Carbon Literate Organisation (CLO), and how a circular coffee startup achieved 50% of their Net Zero target in just 6 months.
Featuring Damn Good Coffee Company, Frugi, Oddbox and more...
This week we cover:
Quick Take: Could your company become a Carbon Literate Organisation (CLO)?
Brand Spotlight: Damn Good Coffee Company: 10 areas they focused on to hit 50% of their Net Zero target within just 6 months.
In case you missed it: 🌱 Circularity: Buzzword or Business Model?
> Good News Last Week
🎯 Frugi announced its launching a circular clothing collection called 'Recycle Me'. The childrens-wear brand’s new collection will focus on circularity, featuring products designed specifically to be recycled - they’ve worked with the Circular Textiles Foundation to ensure this, the items will be stamped with the Foundation’s 'Infinitee' mark - certifying that the clothes are recyclable.
🎯 Oddbox unveiled the ‘worlds first dating service for lonely veg’ - coined as ‘Soilmates’. Their latest research found that people in the UK throw away up to 10% of the their weekly fruit and veg. Now, you can pick your lonely veg, specify what kind of dish you want, what other veg you want to pair it with, and they’ll offer up a selection of recipes you can use to make sure it doesn’t go to waste.
🎯 Mewery, a cell-based food tech start-up, announced “the first prototype” of cultivated meat based on microalgae - combining 75% pork cells and 25% microalgae cells. The finished product is estimated to hit shelves in 2 years, provided corresponding legislation is ‘ready’.
🎯 Filippa K, the Swedish ‘sensual minimalism’ brand, announced it will be the first fashion brand to premiere a new, recycled and renewable material, made from a combination of textile waste and wood cellulose. This is the result of a collaboration with Swedish forest group Södra; global fiber producer Lenzing; and Riopele (one of the oldest textile manufacturers in Portugal).
⭐️ Sainsbury’s announced they’re rolling out £2 fruit & veg boxes, containing items that would’ve otherwise gone to waste, to reduce food waste. They’re also becoming the first UK retailer to remove traditional plastic tray packaging across their entire beef mince range, and vacuum pack it instead (saving 450 tonnes of plastic each year).
⭐️ Co-op announced they’re removing best-before dates on more than 150 produce lines - most of which are fresh produce. They trialled this on a select number of fruit and vegetable products last year, which was a success.
⚡️ Ofi announced a partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to offer a joint investment of $8.1 million to promote sustainable coffee production in the in the Junín region of Peru. This aims to ‘strengthen extension services, infrastructure, certification, training and access to premium markets’ for 1,000 smallholder farmers, over a five-year period. Among other things, the partnership will also focus on training on sustainable and organic farming, medical screenings and nutrition education.
> Click on each link to read more.
> Quick Take
Could your company become a Carbon Literate Organisation (CLO)?
Carbon footprint, carbon neutral, carbon positive, carbon negative, carbon equivalent, absolute emissions vs intensity targets, greenhouse gases, supply chain resilience, vulnerability to the climate crisis, equity vs equality, scopes 1,2 & 3, … you might understand some of this terminology, but do your colleagues? Not everyone needs to know the methodology behind calculating your organisation’s Scope 3 emissions (for example) anytime soon. However, equipping your team with the agency and tools to pull up a seat at the table and join in the conversation about the climate crisis could go a long way.
Understanding the environmental costs and impacts of everyday (individual and business) operational activities has the impact of 5-15% carbon savings per person on average. With ‘carbon’ becoming a new universal language, now might be the time to ensure your team actually understands what it is and how to talk about it.
So, what is carbon literacy?
Carbon Literacy: “An awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis.”
Referring to it as a ‘culture shift project’, The Carbon Literacy Project is tackling this knowledge gap with training programmes to up-skill teams and whole industries on core ‘sustainability’ competencies through tangible facts and solutions. With the basic understanding that climate action is a means to achieving carbon emission reduction and maintaining a 1.5 degrees global emissions goal, the training focuses on catalysing action through training and education. There are a multitude of different programmes available, with open source toolkits for the public sector, local authorities, universities & colleges, and museums on their website.
How can your company become a Climate Literate Organisation (CLO)?
Develop a training programme specific for your business. The traditional format includes:
Definitions and context - greenhouse gas effect, climate crisis, equity & vulnerability, greenhouse gas emissions.
Following the supply chain of your business from ‘cradle to gate’, for both your products or services.
Work with The Carbon Literacy project to certify your training programme ensuring it meets the Carbon Literacy Standard.
Train your workforce!
Submit evidence forms to The Carbon Literacy Project to attain certificates for your carbon literate learners. To attain the Carbon Literacy certificate, each employee must also make two pledges for individual or group actions that they must commit to.
When designing your training programme, include case studies and real life examples from within your business to bring the tracing to life. Consider designing a programme more specific to your industry - one example is Autotrader, who built and open sourced a course (see it here) for the Automotive Industry to address the impact of transport (the first or second highest CO2 emitting sector in over 75% of countries in 2019).
The Carbon Literacy Project’s impact? Over 51,000 individuals from over 4,000 organisations have certified as ‘Carbon Literate’. As the Project identifies that ‘Carbon Literate Citizens have acquired the knowledge to understand how the climate crisis will affect them geographically and sectorally, and have acquired the knowledge and skills to lower their carbon footprint’, we’re confident this training will have positive cascade effects for years to come.
> Brand Spotlight
Damn Good Coffee Company: 10 areas they focused on to hit 50% of their Net Zero target within just 6 months.
For this week’s brand spotlight, we’re heading to Copenhagen to further uncover the city’s love affair with making coffee more circular. Denmark’s capital not only plays home to spent coffee ground up-cyclers Kaffe Bueno (read our take here) but also Damn Good Coffee Company. Founded by Lasse Grosen and Casper Wille in 2018, the pair wanted to design more sustainable coffee experiences for offices, co-working and co-living spaces.
So, how does it work? It’s extremely simple - the team helps you design a sustainable coffee station set up suited to your space, and then looks after the servicing of it, including the supply of coffee and its waste. The hardest decision you’ll have to make is the type of coffee you’d like to have.
In 2021, the team set out a Net Zero target to achieve in the following years ahead, covering all of their operations. Within 6 months, at the start of 2022, they had already hit 50% of their target. To do this, they identified 10 main aspects of their value chain and sustainable operating system, and worked with climate consultancy SuFu on a Life Cycle Analysis to underpin their decision making.
Let’s take a look at how they have achieved this…
Zero waste packaging - The team uses reusable boxes for the delivery and collection of coffee. Across their 10 year life, the boxes replace an estimated 14,000 bags or 400,00 coffee capsules.
Carbon emission free deliveries - All local deliveries are made using cargo bikes. For those longer journeys, electric vans are used.
Collaborations - Customer’s spent coffee grounds are upcycled into new products such as beer (BRØL), furniture (Mater), and hand soap (Kaffe Bueno).
Recycling spent coffee grounds - Grounds are recycled to make fertiliser and biodiesel, the latter of which is achieved in partnership with DAKA Refood.
Plant-based - For their coffee experiences, the team source plant-based milk from DRYK.
Carbon offsets - Partnering with Klimate.co, Damn Good Coffee Company offset what they haven’t reduced. Their portfolio focuses on direct air capture, bio oil, biochar and soil sequestration and forestation.
Materials - They focus heavily on the materials they use - from bio-degradable & compostable take-away cups to FSC-certified wood for furniture.
Farm - Directly traded coffee is sourced from El Olmo farm. Sustainable practices are imbedded in the farm’s operations in three ways:
Organic fertiliser - utilising residues from coffee berries, manure or forest leftovers, Damn Good Coffee Company avoids CO2 intensive and abrasive synthetic fertilisers.
Milling and processing - relying on a combination of emission-free dry processing, and standard wet processing, to achieve a lower overall footprint.
Prioritising polyculture - planting coffee plants in the shade, prioritising biodiversity and giving the planets the best chance to thrive in a nature-rich environment are all part of the polyculture plan.
Want to know how other brands within the coffee industry are doing their bit to create a more sustainable coffee system? Check out our previous features covering Origin Coffee, Pact Coffee and Kaffee Bueno.
Take a closer look at Damn Good Coffee Company:
> In case you missed it
🌱 Circularity: Buzzword or Business Model?
Featuring Origin Coffee, Kaffe Bueno, First Mile and more...
> Follow up with…
Article: Building sustainability programs from the ground up
Workbook: Design Systems Change
Guide: Roadmap to Net Zero
Webpage: Edie’s Jargon Buster