Jasper becomes carbon neutral after measuring coffee’s true footprint

Posted by Isobel Drake on 15th July 2009

Your daily cup of coffee might just be costing you more than you think. New research from the Carbon Reduction Institute shows each latté consumed has the same environmental impact as leaving a 60 watt bathroom light globe on for 3 hours. Times that by 2 lattés a day, 5 times a week and, over a year, you just left that light globe on for 2 months.

By calculating the footprint from their packaging, airflights, power, water and vehicles among all else, Jasper Coffee has now determined the real cost of consuming the revered flat white that keeps Australians perky during the day.

“By becoming a 100% Carbon Neutral Coffee company our vision over 3 years of collecting data and taking responsibility for our carbon emissions has come to fruition,” advised Jasper Coffee Managing Director, Wells Trenfield. “Over the years, we have always been conscious of the coffees we choose with respect to sustainability. We have 22 shade grown coffees and 15 Fairtrade Organic, along with a raft of other Fairtrade Organic products and recyclable take away cups.”

“Having measured our carbon emissions we have now offset 100% of our operations with an amazing renewable energy project in India,” he added*.

The impact of climate change is not just in Antarctica. In the Tropics where the luscious caffeine crop grows, Jasper notes that growers are finding unusual weather changes with extended heavy rains in Peru and Colombia resulting in volume shortfalls around 30%.

The rise of the ethical consumer

The ethical, more responsible consumer has not been shut down by the global recession with Fairtrade sales continuing to soar around the world. Last year, sales of Fairtrade goods rose 80 per cent – albeit of a low base – with coffee leading the way. Coffee is the highest selling Fairtrade certified product, reaping sales of $17 million last year. Organic, too, has held up reasonably well, particularly for products used to prepare home-cooked meals – although growth overall is expected to be markedly lower than the 30 per cent seen in recent years.

Fairtrade Labelling Australia & New Zealand Operations Manager Cameron Neil recently noted that Australian shoppers’ growing commitment to Fairtrade and ethical goods reflected a global trend and one that remained strong even in the face of recession.

“Fairtrade Labelling initiatives around the world have continued to report strong growth, and recent research shows that despite feeling the pinch, 92% of consumers would still be willing to pay extra for a product that is ethically certified and 68% would remain loyal to a brand even in recession if it supports a good cause,” he advised.

* Jasper Coffee’s greenhouse gas inventory has now been audited and approved by the Carbon Reduction Institute.