Category • Blog articles

What’s the most sustainable coffee for the office?

Alex | February 16, 2023

Sustainability is a major concern in today’s business world, and the coffee industry is no exception. With the increase in demand for eco-friendly and socially responsible products, more and more offices are looking for ways to make their coffee habits more sustainable.

First of all, finding the most sustainable coffee depends on several factors. It depends on the source of the coffee beans, and how they’re processed, packaged, imported and brewed. It also depends on how it’s consumed and how any coffee waste is dealt with. Let’s take a look at what factors you should look out for when choosing a sustainable coffee option for you and your team.

Why is sustainable coffee important for your business?

Put simply, choosing sustainable coffee is important because it reduces the environmental impact of the coffee industry. This small but important choice helps to support communities and businesses that prioritise fair treatment of coffee farmers.

Plus it also contributes to a healthier and tastier cup of coffee as sustainable coffee is often grown without the use of harmful chemicals.

By choosing sustainable coffee and opting for more sustainable coffee habits in the workplace, we can help to create a greener and more responsible future for everyone.

Type of coffee standards

Rainforest Alliance Certified, Fair Trade, and UTZ Certified are all major certifications that indicate that a coffee product has met certain standards. Here’s a quick comparison:

Rainforest Alliance Certified:This certification focuses on environmental sustainability and social responsibility. It requires that coffee farmers protect wildlife and natural resources, provide decent working conditions and wages, and limit the use of harmful chemicals.

Fair Trade Certified: Their approach primarily focuses on fair wages and working conditions for coffee farmers. It ensures that they receive a fair price and have access to resources such as healthcare and education.

UTZ Certified:This certification focuses on both environmental sustainability and social responsibility. It requires coffee farmers to use sustainable farming practices, provides decent working conditions and wages, and also limit the use of harmful chemicals.

All three certifications have a positive impact on the coffee industry and the communities that grow it. When choosing which one’s right for you and your office, consider which one mostly aligns with your values and priorities. Regardless of which one you choose, you can feel confident that you’re supporting a more sustainable and responsible coffee industry so it’s a win-win!

Coffee habits

Aside from choosing certified coffee beans, there are other things people can do in the office to make their coffee habits more sustainable. One of the biggest things is reducing waste.

This can be done by using reusable coffee cups or mugs, rather than disposable cups. If you’re using filters, make sure you recycle or compost them. If coffee pods are your thing, you can opt for recyclable versions of these, and if your coffee-making process results in used coffee grounds, there are lots of simple ways to discard them in an environmentally friendly way.

Another option is to partner with BioBeans Renewal. In their recycling factory in Cambridgeshire, your used coffee grounds will be dried, renewing them for reuse in new products to benefit both people and the planet.

At FreshGround, we get through a lot of coffee so we donate all our coffee grounds locally to vegetable growers as it makes for a brilliant fertiliser. Coffee grounds contain several essential nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, along with micronutrients that help vegetables to grow. This means that none of our coffee grounds goes to waste.

It’s also worth considering what type of milk you have in your coffee. More and more people are switching to plant-based milks for various reasons – one of which is sustainability. Dairy production has a significant impact on the environment whereas the production of almond, soy, or oat milk for example, have a much lower environmental impact. These alt-milks are made from crops that require less land and water than dairy farming and emit fewer greenhouse gases.

Bean-to-cup coffee machines

Another way to make coffee habits more sustainable is to choose a bean-to-cup coffee machine. Brewing your coffee in the office this way is a greener option over using a kettle or having your team buy coffee from a coffee shop.

Bean-to-cup coffee machines grind fresh coffee beans and make a single cup of coffee at the touch of a button. This reduces waste if you compare it to making a whole pot of coffee. They can be easily programmed to make only the amount of coffee needed, which reduces energy usage and waste.

Having a bean-to-cup coffee machine in the office also has other benefits. For one, it provides a consistent, barista-style coffee experience, which can help to keep employees happy and productive. Plus they’re super simple to use and maintain, which means that employees can make their own coffee as and when required.

A bean-to-cup coffee machine is also a more cost-effective option, and you can get one for your office by renting or on free loan. These options mean you won’t have to fork out a lot of money upfront for the machine if office budgets are tight. Renting your machine means you pay a monthly fee, and a free loan agreement means that you get the machine for free as long as you sign up for regular coffee and consumable deliveries. Both of these options also come with a service plan, so if there are any issues with your machine, you’ll be covered.

So what should I choose?

Ultimately there are lots of factors to consider when opting for a sustainable coffee experience. What you choose will depend on personal taste, the values your business aligns with, quality and cost. If you need any help in making your decision, or if you’re looking for a bean to cup coffee machine, simply contact our team. We’re on hand to help and advise you to find the perfect office coffee experience that’ll meet your exact requirements.