Building a sustainable business is central to Counter Culture Coffee's mission. We strive to be leaders in sustainable coffee and combine our commitment to buying high-quality coffee with respect for the natural environment.
Since the beginning, we have sought coffee that not only tastes good but also does good—for our local community and for all of the communities around the world where our partners grow coffee—and we continue to raise our standards as we make progress. Whether through our our Counter Culture Direct Trade Certification or our projects aimed at reducing our environmental footprint, our day-to-day decisions reflect our dedication to real environmental, social, and fiscal sustainability.
Our vision is to pursue coffee perfection by creating partnerships that ensure prosperity for all people, improving the natural environment and operating efficiently to minimize our environmental impact.
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Carbon Neutrality Update: Cookstoves in Marcala
After a fascinating and surprising first foray into carbon-footprint measurement at the end of 2009 – a project to track the carbon footprint of Finca Mauritania's coffee from seed to cup – Counter Culture decided to commit wholeheartedly to carbon neutrality for the company. We set a target date of 2015 because, to tell the truth, we weren't entirely sure what we were signing ourselves up to do.
In a serendipitous turn of events, we were able to reach our five-year goal in only two years and achieved carbon neutrality at the end of 2011 by offsetting our 576-tonne greenhouse gas footprint through tree-planting and fuel-efficient stove construction in Central America.
We arrived at that 576-tonnes-of-greenhouse-gas figure with the help of Vancouver-based Climate Smart, a foot printing organization that takes a unique approach to auditing by empowering businesses to measure themselves.
Having established a baseline, we turned our attention to potential areas of reduction. We started reaching out to providers of offsets and reconnected with Trees, Water, and People (TWP), which manages offset projects ranging from tree-planting and stove construction in Central America and Haiti to wind power in the American west. They distinguished themselves from other offset providers by offering to implement a project building fuel-efficient stoves with Organic Coffee of Marcala, S.A. de C.V. (COMSA), a cooperative that Counter Culture works with in Marcala, Honduras. After enthusiastic planning with TWP, AHDESA – a development organization in Honduras – and COMSA, the team built and installed 86 clean cookstoves in 2 weeks, impacting a total of 626 family members! We are grateful for this successful partnership!
-Hannah and Kim