Our team are dedicated to continually monitoring and refining our production practices in line with latest industry developments to ensure our impact on the earth is as minimal as possible, whilst making sure we remain true to the quality of our product.
We have listed the ways in which we as a company are working towards minimising our environmental impact below:
We are committed to sustainability at Owens Coffee. One of the best ways for us to show this is through our packaging. Our coffee pouches are now 100% recyclable, including the valve! (Believe it or not this is not as easy as it sounds!)
Our coffee bags are fully-recyclable as code #5 LDPE which is the same as plastic carrier bags. Many supermarkets have a plastic recycling recycling facility — you can find your local facility on the Recycle Now website.
Coffee requires packaging with a strong barrier to maintain its freshness and flavour, and after many years of research we know flexible packaging (pouches) is preferable to rigid packaging (glass jars, aluminium tins) for its efficiency in transport and storage. Jars and tins, although recyclable, take up the same space empty as full and so require around two times more transportation capacity than flexible packaging.
In addition, glass and aluminium also require much more energy and resources to produce than flexible packaging. All factors we considered when looking at the most sustainable way to package our coffee as well as maintaining the freshness of the product. After much research, we have finally managed source a recyclable pouch (including the valve), that is fully recyclable in the bag recycling facilities at larger supermarkets. Certainly a huge step forward for the beverage industry.
However this isn’t the end of the story. We continue to lobby the packaging industry in the search for even more efficient solutions, so we have taken the decision to label our pouches, rather than pre print, to ensure we can react quickly as and when new and more sustainable packaging products enter the market.
Built in 2018, our Roastery in Ivybridge, Devon, has been custom built using the latest technologies in order to be as energy efficient and as low impact as possible. It provides a much improved workplace for our staff and visitors alike, cleaner and warmer with under-floor ambient heating supplied by our Air Source Heat Pump and low energy lighting.
After extended research, we chose to buy a Loring Roaster, designed and made in the U.S.A. Engineered with unheard-of efficiency, the roaster has a single burner that roast beans and incinerates smoke with a high-speed cooling tray that reduces cooling time while protecting the beans.
With 80% fuel-savings and reduction of greenhouse gases in every roast, compared to conventional roasters, it has been a very worthwhile investment for us. As well as this, the Loring is unmatched in quality and unparalleled in control making a fantastic roasting experience for our production team.
Shade grown coffee grown using organic methods is better for the environment: there are no synthetic fertilizers or chemicals used in growing or production, organic farms can help combat climate change by emitting less carbon than a chemical farm, and they also sequester significant amounts of carbon.
As well as this, organically grown coffee is rich in healthy antioxidants. Our producers benefit from fair trade agreements and better working conditions. It is a win win for the planet, the producers and you as a consumer.
We are committed to working with the Fairtrade Foundation, whose work with farmers through training and education plays a vital role in managing their businesses through any changes that climatic changes that occur in the future.
Temperature increases of just a few degrees could push Arabica coffee production higher into the mountains and forested reserves, meaning areas suitable could decrease substantially. Without changes to farming practices there could be more vulnerability to pests and disease, unpredictable yields and higher coffee prices.
We use Devon Contract Waste, whose Zero to Landfill commitment fits perfectly with our ethos for all of our waste collection. Established since 1989, DCW have a mission to recycle as much waste as possible and support South West businesses to adopt a sustainable approach to waste management. They are the only Zero to Landfill operator in the region to process waste for recycling rather than sending it all to be incinerated. This reduces our regions carbon footprint and promotes a sustainable business community.
In addition to this we try to recycle wherever we can. We take all of our used coffee grinds to our neighbours at Endsleigh Garden Centre every Friday for them to mix with their composting. Our pallets are collected for reuse, and our coffee sacks are sent to Dartmoor Zoo for animal enrichment. (We also sell them in our shop for our customers to get creative with!)
We are proud to have only ever sold 100% compostable takeaway cups since inception in 2010, which in return has reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill by our customers.
If you have any ideas or questions to help us improve our environment credentials, please do get in touch. We would love to hear from you.