2014 GREENHOUSE GAS REPORT
Climate change is having a big impact on the coffee supply chain—making high-quality production more difficult and threatening the livelihoods of coffee farmers and the biologically diverse areas where coffee grows. The greenhouse gases causing climate change are in large part being produced at the other end of the supply chain: in the roasting, shipping, and brewing of coffee.As a business on that greenhouse-gas-production end, our goal is to continuously reduce our use of energy and to purchase offsets to account for the rest. To this end, we’ve calculated our carbon footprint since 2010 and purchased offsets. For our 2014 footprint, we made some big steps forward in the way we collect data that will help us formulate our first ever comprehensive reduction strategy.
WHAT IS THIS REPORT
- Natural gas used for heating buildings
- Propane used for roasting
- Gas used in company-owned vehicles
- Electricity for all buildings
- Fuel used in shipping of roasted coffee
- Gas used in employee commuting
- Fuel used in employee air travel
- Landfilled garbage
- Office paper consumption
Overall Emissions by Type
|Overall Emissions by Type||Metric Tons|
CCC Owned Vehicles
Emissions by Shipping Method
|Emissions by Shipping Method||Metric Tons|
|Air Short Haul||33.19|
|Air Medium Haul||12.33|
|Air Long Haul||165.46|
Overall Emissions by Scope
|Scope 1||Scope 2||Scope 3|
CCC Owned Vehicles
Compare between 2013 and 2014
|Emissions by Type||2013||2014|
CCC Owned Vehicles
RESULTS TO NOTE
Counter Culture roasted about 12% more coffee in 2014 compared to 2013. In the context of this growth, the most-significant sources of growth in our emissions were in the shipping of roasted coffee and the transportation of people in company owned vehicles. As noted above, some of the growth in these sources is the result of more-accurate data collection. Otherwise, the growth in shipping emissions is mostly the result of a significant increase in our west coast customer base who had their coffee shipped from Durham until our Emeryville roastery opened in June of 2015. The increase in company vehicle emissions is from a combination of a larger vehicle fleet and a new customer service strategy that resulted in more frequent visits to accounts.
Our waste sent to landfills, although only a small part of our overall footprint, decreased by more than half in 2014.
This was mostly due to better data collection, but also reflects the work that’s been done to decrease production waste and to compost at all of our training centers.
The majority of our emissions are scope 3: emissions from sources that are essential to our operations, but not company-owned and not under our direct control. Reducing these emissions will be more challenging because, while we’ll need to continue making use of these sources like UPS shipping, we need to figure out how to use them more efficiently. Successful reduction strategies for our scope 3 emissions will therefore require good communication and teamwork with our supply chain partners and our employees.
We did a breakdown of our emissions from shipping this year because we made a big change in the way we gathered this data. For the first time, we requested a list of all of our 2014 shipments from UPS—broken down by mileage, weight, and type of shipping vehicle. Previously, we’d only estimated shipping emissions based on our own data and assumed all shipments were made via truck.
Based on a new level of data, we were able to see that the majority of our shipping emissions came from long-distance air shipments.
This isn’t surprising given the jump in our west coast customer base in 2014 and will likely go down next year since we started roasting and shipping, via truck, from our Emeryville roastery in June 2015. While it’s unfortunate that this new data-collection method resulted in us reporting more emissions, the big step forward in accuracy will help us figure out the best reduction strategies.
Given the amount of time it takes us to collect data, finalize our footprint, and purchase offsets, we will always be reporting on the offsets purchased for the previous footprint. For this 2014 report, we combined the 2012 and 2013 emissions and pooled them together into one offset purchase.
We purchased offsets for our 2012 and 2013 emissions through Cooperative AMBIO, a non-profit organization that works with indigenous communities in Mexico to develop verified carbon offset credits through forestry projects.
Counter Culture’s credits will be allocated to coffee farmers in Chiapas, Mexico, who live within the buffer zone of the Selva El Ocote Biosphere Reserve. The Reserve is home to 90 species of mammals and provides an important habitat for migratory birds. Our offset purchase, equivalent to 1,387 tonnes of carbon, will go towards planting trees and sustainably managing existing forests on about 10 hectares (10 hectares= 18.5 american football fields) and directly impact six coffee farming families.
While we’ve purchased offsets for each of these years of measurement, we’ve never made a concentrated effort to reduce our emissions. This isn’t to say we haven’t made any progress— our emissions have gone down 8% per employee and 15% per 1,000lbs of coffee sold since our 2010 baseline year—we’ve just never had a comprehensive reduction plan. That’s going to change. With the refinement of our data-collection processes and more-accurate measurement, our next step is to establish that plan.
In order to figure out the most feasible changes to make, we’re forming an employee sustainability committee that will bring together environmentally-minded thinkers from each of our departments.
With the input of this committee, we’re going to take a look at every aspect of our internal operations—from the materials we bring into the waste we generate—to examine where we can make the biggest reductions.
As Counter Culture grows, our impact will inevitably grow as well, driving both the need and the ability to become more efficient in our use of natural resources. Our responsibility does not begin or end with Counter Culture’s activities. We value the interconnectedness of our coffee supply chains and we recognize that our coffees come from some of the most ecologically important and economically challenging places in the world. We look forward to the challenge of reducing our emissions—making use of our engaged staff and supply chain relationships to minimize our contribution to climate change.