Last Updated on August 19, 2021 by Nick Baskett

Illycaffè presents its new initiative titled ‘One Makes The Difference’. It is part of its global sustainability plan and will lead the company to become carbon neutral by 2033: the first step is to eliminate about 175 tons of plastic annually.

With the One Makes The Difference initiative, Illycaffè wants to show its commitment to building a sustainable business model capable of finding competitive advantages for the business and still be able to align those to social and environmental objectives.

The initiative is planned to start in July of 2020 and hopes to demonstrate how sustainable quality can protect the planet and reinforce the message that everyone’s actions can make a difference.

Through the use of the R&D applied to raw materials and production processes, Illycaffè completed a multi-year programme to develop products that are environmentally friendly and marketed it under the social media hashtag #ONEMAKESTHEDIFFERENCE.

Starting in July 2020, the new eco-friendly disposable items, starting with recyclable takeaway cups, will be available in Illy bars, Illy Caffè direct stores, and vending channels. The company believes that the use of these cups will reduce the use of plastic equal to 175 tons annually.

While that may be a ‘drop in the ocean’ (excuse the pun if you follow the ocean plastic pollution), it’s significant in the representation of one company’s impact when you extrapolate that across the thousands of companies in the industry.

As of October, the new X1 ESE & Ground coffee machine will be on the market, equipped with a technology that enables it to dispense coffee, steam, and hot water immediately, avoiding the waiting times linked to reaching the correct temperature.

After each use, the machine instantly goes into standby mode, saving energy, and they will serve the coffee in ESE compostable paper pods. The company says it paid attention to the packaging, which they say follows all of the guidelines for being eco-friendly.

We did not see in the press release what this was going to cost the company, but the challenge is not in the science of making products out of sustainable materials, but how to do so at a cheap enough price to compete with plastic.

While some countries can afford to pay a premium for products using sustainable materials, the majority of the world still cannot. The difference in price between a plastic cup and a biodegradable cup in some countries can be a difference of 100% – 1,000% higher for the green option.

The issue arises not just in the cost of production, but with limited distribution, eco-products don’t have the scale in many countries and have to make up the difference in margin.

Over the next few years, the company has ambitions for the #ONEMAKESADIFFERENCE initiative to continue developing other sustainable products.

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