Published 14th March 2019 by Min Lee

The London Coffee Festival 2019: Our Stand for Sustainability



Coffee has received some negative press recently – and rightly so. In the UK, we produce and throw away 2.5 billion single use coffee cups every  year, of which less than 1% get recycled. In the retail market, over 100 million non-recyclable plastic coffee packs are used and produced every year – all destined for landfill or our fragile ecosystems.

In two weeks today, we’ll be at the London Coffee Festival on a joint stand with our sister company Percol Coffee, as official sponsors for this year’s event! As well as showcasing our unique range of speciality coffees and high-grade coffee machines, we’ll be promoting how we as brands can ensure coffee production and consumption remains sustainable for the generations to come.


And nowhere better to start than with the stand itself…



Our stand will be made from FCS accredited cardboard – of which all panels will be reusable or 100% recyclable. ​ Unusual? Yes. But an important move to reduce our reliance and use of traditional plastic materials.

It’s a challenging material to use for an event, but we value sustainability over all else.”

Aaron McFarlane, Percol Coffee

The surface of the coffee bar will be made by Smile Plastics – a design house who transform waste materials into unique decorative panels. For this particular piece, the team have upcycled packaging from both brands’ out of date stock – which would have otherwise ended up in landfill. The carcass of the bar is made from reclaimed wood and will be reused at future events.

We’ll also have Arabica coffee plants on the stand which will be replanted at our office after the festival.




We’ll ban the use of virgin paper on the stand throughout the four days of the festival. All the paper will be made from upcycled materials (including used coffee cups!). Our business cards – made from 100% recycled cotton – will have digital links to reduce the amount of paper we give out.

You’ll also have the chance to win the latest 8oz cups from rCUP, the world’s first reusable cup made from old cups!




As the raw green coffee accounts for 93% of everything we produce, it’s so important to secure a sustainable end to the used coffee grounds after we’ve consumed our cups.

So – we’re proud to be launching our pioneering Ground 2 Ground scheme at this year’s event, an initiative we’ve created to prevent 7 tonnes of ground coffee waste generated at the festival from going to landfill:

  • Percol and Löfbergs volunteers will be collecting the ground coffee waste in compostable bin bags throughout the festival
  • All the waste (bin bags included!) will be taken to be composted
  • This will be turned into 3 tonnes of fertilizer, equating to 150 – 200kg bags of compost
  • The service is free of charge for everyone at the festival to use
  • We’ll also be giving the coffee grounds to Upcircle, who will turn them into their signature beauty products.

Read more about the scheme on the London Coffee Festival website here.




Percol & Löfbergs will be running a panel discussion at the LAB on Friday 29th March from 11:30 until 12:15, entitled: “Coffee in crisis? A discussion on the Future of Ethical and Sustainable coffee”. Confirmed Line Up:

  • Percol/Löfbergs – David Brooks – Managing Director of Percol Coffee.
  • Waitrose – Polly Astbury – Hot Beverages Buyer
  • A Plastic Planet – Sian Sutherland – Co-founder
  • Fairtrade Foundation – LJ Loftus – Head of Supply Chain
  • Lavazza – Mario Cerutti – Chief Institutional Relations and Sustainability Officer
  • World Coffee Research – Greg Meenahan – Partnership Director




At the end of the day, it is all about the coffee. After all, none of us would be here without it. As two brands covering both the Out of Home and Retail market, we have a hugely varied portfolio of coffee products between us, in a range of different formats and flavours.

You’ll be able to try a range of our 100% Arabica speciality blends, with our world champion baristas from Sweden on site to create you a beautiful cup of coffee. We’ll be handing out free samples of our filter ground coffee blends too, which we can brew on request. There will also be a range of high-grade barista machines and coffee equipment on show.

On the Percol side, you’ll be able to sample different flavours from their Plastic-free range of Ground, Beans and Coffee bags. There will also be the Percol range of Fairtrade and Organic Iced Coffees for you to try and take home too. .

In addition to this, we’re delighted to announce that we will be the unique provider of Cold Brew coffee for Espresso Martinis at all the festival bars!


Can coffee change the world? Well we won’t know until we try.