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April 22, 2021      2.5 Minute Read


Making the Coffee World More Sustainable

Alejandro Cadena

Co-Founder & CEO

 

TAGS

At Caravela, we would like to take advantage of Earth Day to create awareness, share our sustainability initiatives and inviting the whole coffee community to contribute in some way to making the coffee world a better and more sustainable one.

We started measuring our carbon footprint in 2017 and since then we have also contributed to the environment by buying carbon credits in forestry projects in Latin America to offset our carbon emissions. For the 2020 calendar year we partnered with One Carbon World (OCW) to independently verify our carbon footprint and help us reduce our GHG emissions. OCW is a global resource partner of the Climate Neutral Now Initiative which was launched by the United Nations Climate Change. After undergoing their strict assessment, our carbon footprint in 2020 was 1,631 tons of CO2e, which is 19,5% reduction vs 2019 or 396 tons of CO2e. This reduction was achieved thanks in large part to a significant reduction in our business travel and employee commuting because of the pandemic. These results plus our commitment to continue reducing our GHG emissions and our purchase of carbon credits equal to offset our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions have allowed us to achieve the One Carbon World Carbon Neutral International Standard.

However, the carbon footprint verified by OCW does not include the carbon footprint related to the green coffee that we buy from our farmer partners. As we are committed to become 100% carbon neutral by 2025, in late 2020 we started working on calculating the carbon footprint of the farms that we buy coffee from to understand the challenge that we face and learn what strategies can be implemented at the farm level to significantly reduce the carbon emission of coffee farms so that we can meet our goal in the next 4 years. To that effect we have been doing a pilot project with 50 farms (25 organic and 25 conventional) in Planadas, Tolima and the support of NGO Solidaridad to measure the carbon footprint of those farms using the CoolFarm Tooldeveloped by the Cool Farm Alliance. Additionally, we have measured the carbon footprint of a few “average” coffee farms in the other 6 countries where we have operations to calculate our total green coffee carbon footprint, as well as to understand the differences in each country and find best practices that can be easily implemented in other farms. Our first calculations have given us a total green coffee carbon footprint of 33,300 tons of CO2e, which would be equal to 95% of our total carbon footprint in 2020.

We know that we cannot achieve our goal without working in partnership with our farmer partners as a vast majority of our carbon footprint is generated at the farm level. Therefore, in the next few months we will be sharing all this knowledge with our farmer partners to generate awareness and help them undertake the necessary steps to reduce their carbon footprints. Thankfully, we have already found remarkably simple and cost-effective tasks they can do that will be easy to implement and even some farms that are already carbon positive.

Finally, and with the aim of generating awareness at the roaster level and hopefully some action too, starting this April we are printing the average green coffee carbon footprint of every origin in our jute bags. So, from now on, every time you receive a bag of coffee from Caravela at your roastery, you will see the carbon emitted of every kg of green coffee that you buy from us. We hope that this information will drive the coffee industry to join us in our quest to combat climate change and make the coffee world better.

We are aware that there is still a long way to go. We cannot yet say that we are 100% Carbon Neutral company, but we are committed to getting there with all the industry’s help by 2025.

2 Comments

  1. Silvio Palacio

    Soy un pequeño productor nicaragüense y estoy interesado en conocer más sobre el tema.necesito información ya que yo estoy en lucha en protección del.mefio ambiente

    Reply
  2. Íñigo Alonso

    Buenos días, gracias por toda la información,

    Me gustaría saber cómo miden las emisiones del transporte del café, si es contenedor a contenedor o hacen estimaciones agregadas. Hemos desarrollado en Clcircular un sistema asociado a sensores y me gustaría entender más el modelo.

    Un cordial saludo,

    Iñigo Alonso

    Reply

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