Sustainability, both of our environment and the coffee trade, is a top priority for Kaldi’s Coffee and a routine matter of discussion at our Roastery and our cafes. No matter the material, we are working hard to find sustainable alternatives that work best for our Earth and that meet the needs of our team and our guests.
So what have we done and what are we doing? Here’s a quick snapshot:
Consumables and Packaging
In 2018, we made the commitment to switch to fully compostable or recyclable to-go packaging for our menu items. We have also recently partnered with a local coffee sleeve manufacturer that plants a tree for every 7,000 they produce. In 2019, we started using strawless lids as the standard option for all of our in-house cold drinks to reduce our plastic waste even further. We still have straws available for our guests who ask for them as there are legitimate needs for them, but this switch has been huge for our mission and extremely well received. Lastly, in November 2019 we began using compostable 12oz bags for our cafes and website orders. You can read more about this in our blog, but it was a big decision for us that we hope helps push sustainable materials in the coffee industry forward.
At Our Roastery
We produce a lot of coffee grounds with our cold brew program and donate all of the used grounds to a company called Always Green Recycling (our cafes are also able to bag up coffee grounds for your garden if you ever need). Each year, we re-use several thousand cardboard boxes that come into our Roastery for deliveries to our cafes and our wholesale partners. We offer our burlap coffee bags for anyone who wants to come pick them up, and a lot of people use them in their gardens or farms.
With Our Partners
Last but not least, sustainability is a massive initiative in the coffee industry as the coffee world has been hit hard by climate changes and historically low commodity prices. How are we responding? For starters, we are avid supporters and contributors to World Coffee Research whose aim is to aid in the crisis through scientific enhancement in the understanding of coffee growing. They then spread that knowledge to farmers around the world. In 2018, we celebrated National Coffee Day by giving 5% of coffee sales to this fund. Furthermore, since our inception we have paid 15% above Fair Trade pricing for our Relationship Coffees, and recently have assisted our friends at the Colombia Monserrate Community during the crisis by agreeing to pay even more for our current lots. Lastly, Kaldiʼs Coffee seeks relationships with farmers whose agricultural practices preserve the soil and protect the insects, birds, and wildlife that inhabit the ecosystem. Such practices include Certified Organic and Bird-Friendly approaches to coffee cultivation.
Rest assured this is just a snippet of what we are doing now, and we consider this to be a perpetual work in progress. Your feedback, ideas, and passion are important if not critical to us, and we welcome new ideas and cooperation as we tackle this mission together.