Blue Bottle recently announced its commitment to become carbon neutral by 2024. The Californian coffee company will focus on accelerated reduction to achieve this goal, and efforts will include areas from coffee sourcing to end of life product and packaging emissions. All stores in the US and Asia will have these measures implemented.
Blue Bottle has been committed to the cause of sustainability from early on, with a focus on sourcing and waste reduction. Last year, the company pledged a commitment to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions with their e-commerce fulfilment in the United States. CEO of Blue Bottle Coffee Karl Strovink stated:
Since our founding in 2002, sustainability has been a core value at Blue Bottle. Sustainability for us means caring for people and planet. We are steadfast in providing guests with the highest quality coffee and cafe experience without the need to compromise on our values.
The company believes in accelerated reduction as the prime method to reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2024. As a way to address unabated emissions, Blue Bottle will support offsetting projects, which includes working with coffee producers to sustain and expand regenerative agricultural practices.
Blue Bottle has made a multi-year commitment to purchasing the first available, registry certified agricultural carbon credits — these credits will be able to support US farmers during their transition from conventional to regenerative agricultural practices.
For this year, Blue Bottle focused on four key categories in reduction efforts: electricity, coffee sourcing, dairy and waste. The company has purchased renewable energy certificates in the US and Japan, which reduces their emission footprint.
We have mixed feelings about using carbon credits as a mechanism for companies to reduce emissions since the effectiveness of these depends on the quality of the carbon credits being purchased. It is acceptable to use them as part of a wider strategy for carbon reduction, however, and at least Blue Bottle seem to have taken a considered approach with an aim to benefit farmers.
When looking at emission reduction strategies, the company started with identifying key impactful areas in their supply streams. They then switched to using oat milk by default in three Californian outlets which resulted in an 8% reduction of cow’s milk in the first two months. Oat milk is considered to be more environmentally friendly since cow’s produce 5.0 gigatonnes of CO2, which represents about 62 per cent of the sector’s emissions.
In spring this year, the company opened a ‘zero-waste operations’ cafe as a testing ground, which resulted in a 98% diversion of waste from landfills in just the first month alone.
In 2022, Blue Bottle will publish an accelerated roadmap to achieving its goal after an assessment of its brand. Goals for the upcoming year include more reduction efforts and the growth of renewable energy. According to Blue Bottle, the next major step is to fundamentally change the business’ operations and partnerships – a crucial step if the brand is to meet its target.