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Becoming a B Corp - Our Environmental Impact

  • 5 min read

First of all, we’d like to say a huge ‘Thank you’ to everyone who has celebrated B Corp Month with us and joined in on the #BetterBusiness conversation. We've loved hearing about how our fellow B Corps are using their businesses as a force for good and we've been inspired by all of your positive conversations. 

Whilst reading all of your lovely comments on our social media posts, we realised that a lot of people are new to the concept of B Corps and are intrigued by what it all means. Therefore, we thought it might be a good idea to share a bit more about the rigorous B Corp Certification process and the various key factors that are looked at in this process. If you haven’t heard about our exciting news yet, you can check out our full post right herewhich explains what B Corps are and why we’re so proud to be part of the B Corp community. 

In short, certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability. They’re the building blocks of a new system, creating a positive impact and bringing real, lasting change in the business world. B Corps set the gold standard for good business and inspire a race to the top, creating performance standards and legal structures being used by thousands of other businesses around the world.

In order to become a certified B Corporation, businesses must first pass B Corp’s rigorous certification process. This process looks at 5 key areas within each business, these are  -

  • Environment  
  • Community 
  • Customers 
  • Governance 
  • Workers

Here on our blog, we’ll be diving a little deeper into each of these areas, sharing all about our B Corp journey and how we’re striving to use our business as a force for good. First up, we’re sharing all about the ‘Environment’ portion of the B Corp process. 

The Environment section of the B Impact Assessment evaluates a company’s environmental performance through its facilities, materials, emissions, and resource and energy use. 

Within this assessment, companies like us answer questions about their transportation/distribution channels and the environmental impact of their supply chain. The assessment also measures whether a company’s products or services are designed to solve an environmental issue, including products that aid in the provision of renewable energy, conserve resources, reduce waste, promote land/wildlife conservation, prevent toxic/hazardous substance or pollution, or educate, measure or consult to solve environmental problems.

As our climate crisis continues, and temperatures rise across the globe, ensuring that we’re continually evaluating our environmental practices is extremely important to us. Here are a few ways in which we waste less and reduce our carbon footprint. 

We reuse and recycle 

From day one, reusing and recycling where we can has been second nature for us. In fact, the very heartbeat of the company, the first coffee roaster itself, a Probat was given a second life having already been used in Denmark before landing in Glasgow.

As well as using preloved machinery and technology where we can, we also strive to give our “waste” a new lease of life. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure afterall. For example, we work with the brilliantGlasgow Allotment Association to help find a route to composting for our coffee chaff (a byproduct from the roasting process) and withRevive to uplift our used coffee grinds to turn into coffee compost and sell on. This ‘Chaff’ is then used to help encourage the growth of nutritious fruit and veg and plants which help to absorb harmful carbon from the atmosphere. 

 In addition to our byproduct recycling efforts, we also have  a company wide recovery and recycling programme for product packaging that includes paper, cardboard, plastic and glass. We also sell our used, hessiancoffee sacks for a charitable donation toGirls Gotta Run and encourage reuse in upcycling projects.

No bean is left behind

We’re passionate about our product and believe that no bean should go to waste. We have worked hard to fine-tune our roasting processes so that our product waste is very minimal. However, on the rare occasion that we have coffee which doesn’t meet our strict quality control standards, we donate it to theGlasgow City Mission. We don’t waste one handpicked bean!

We use degradable packaging 

Over the years, we’ve experimented with various types of packaging to ensure our coffee bags are as widely recyclable as possible - whilst maintaining the quality of ourdelicious product. At the moment, our coffee bags are fully degradable, which means that they will break down and disintegrate over time. Simply pop them in your general waste bin. Throughout our roastery journey, we have incorporated environmental considerations into product design by conducting reviews of product materials, design, reuse or recyclability and by having reclamation programs for used products or parts. 

For ourwholesale customers, we also offer 1kg Zero Waste tubs which helps to cut down any unnecessary packaging waste. At Dear Green, we’re continually working to improve our products and processes - this includes how we package our coffee. We are currently working behind the scenes on some new packaging solutions and we look forward to further minimising our waste in 2021. 

We built our roastery with the planet in mind

Our state of the art roastery is extremely energy efficient. Back in 2011 when we arrived at ourcurrent premises, the space was a complete shell. Whilst transforming the space, we actively sourced and installed energy efficient equipment as we overhauled the disused 19th century factory and turned  it into a  state of the art coffee production space. To help improve our efficiency, we utilise energy star appliances and tech with sleep modes. We also make the most of natural light, use efficient, energy saving light bulbs and use programmable thermostats. To help track our efficiency, we regularly monitor and record our energy use. At the moment, 25-49% of our energy comes from renewable sources. 

We encourage our customers to go plastic free 

Every year, over 2.5 billion disposable cups go to landfill each year, and here at Dear Green we strive to do our part to help change this. In our online store and on our social media platforms, we sell and promote the use ofreusable cups that keep your coffee hot and the earth cool. We’re also extremely proud to have created the first disposable cup-free coffee festival in collaboration withKeepCup in 2018 in a move to encourage a culture change and combat unnecessary landfill waste. You can read all about that right here.  

We utilise green travel and transportation methods

To help make our commutes as green as possible, all of our employees are incentivised for the use of public transport, carpooling, biking or walking to work. Our roastery is also designed to facilitate use of public transportation, biking, or cleaner burning vehicles (e.g. electric chargers). When it comes to transporting and delivering our stock, we utilize freight or shipping methods with lower environmental impacts. We also source 10% of our overall produce from suppliers located within 200 miles which helps us to reduce any unnecessary carbon emissions. 

We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about our environmental impact and our B Corp certification journey. To find out more about what becoming a B Corp means for us, pour yourself atasty brew, and check out ourB Corp blog post which includes everything you need to know.