Published 8th March 2019 by Min Lee

The London Coffee Festival 2019: Our Sustainability Strategy

 

For the first time ever, we are joining forces with our sister company Percol Coffee at the London Coffee Festival 2019. And as official sponsors of this year’s event, we are on a mission to be the most sustainable stand at the show.

From farm to factory to shelf, we aim to be as sustainable as possible across every element of our business. Whether that’s organic farming, green packaging, or investment back in the communities that grow our quality beans, we are constantly working to secure the future of coffee for the generations to come.

 

OUR SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY

 

Coffee is now the most widely consumed hot beverage in the UK. We get through approximately 95 million cups of the stuff every single day.

As our consumption of coffee soars, and the café culture booms upon our high street, so too does the consumer demand for an ethically sourced cuppa: 75% of us now claim to be passionate about living sustainably.1

But, with changes in climate heavily impacting coffee harvesting, 60% of wild coffee species are now threatened with extinction.2

It’s up to us as brands to take the necessary and urgent steps in order to protect the future of coffee.

 

BY 2030, ALL OUR PACKAGING WILL BE MADE FROM RENEWABLE, RECYCLED OR COMPOSTABLE MATERIALS.

Over 100 million non-recyclable coffee packs are produced and used each year in the UK – sadly, these will all end up being incinerated or remain in landfills and ecosystems for hundreds of years.

During 2017/18, Löfbergs started replacing part of our fossil plastic with plastic from sugar cane. This new material, called Green PE, is fully recyclable and will reduce CO2 emissions by up to a third. We will begin to implement this packaging across our range in the summer of this year.

In 2018, Percol launched the world’s first plastic-free and fully home-compostable packaging for their range of ground and beans. This move will strip out over 1.3 million pieces of plastic from the business – with the recent launch of their ‘plastic-free’ coffee bags forecast to considerably increase this amount.

Percol is taking bold steps to reduce their plastic footprint across the whole business and soon, the whole company will be plastic-free.

 

BY 2020, ALL OUR PRODUCTS WILL BE FULLY CERTIFIED

Our love for coffee depends entirely upon the farms and communities who grow our beans. That’s why ensuring our coffee is ethically certified has always been an integral part of both brands. Now – we are on a mission to have 100% certified product ranges by 2020.

 

In 1995, Löfbergs imported the very first container of organic coffee. Today, we are one of the most labelled Fairtrade and organic certified brands in the world. Löfbergs purchases all coffee directly from the producing countries and in 2018 purchased 5,300 tonnes of Fairtrade-certified coffee and 10,000 tonnes of organic coffee – which is enough to cover 18,900 football pitches!

Percol was the first ground coffee on UK supermarket shelves to be Fairtrade certified. The brand pioneered the use of organic beans in its unique range of single-origin instants. Last year, they made their entire roast & ground range Fairtrade and Organic certified.

Both brands are also working closely with the Rainforest Alliance to increase the percentage of RA certified products across both portfolios. In addition to this, we’re extremely proud that Löfbergs and Percol are carbon-neutral certified, meaning we offset all our emissions at every stage of our supply chain, from farm to factory to shelf.

 

WE ARE HELPING SECURE THE NEXT GENERATION OF COFFEE

“Enabling and supporting the young coffee farmers who will give us the coffee of tomorrow is a top priority for us, if the young ones leave the future of coffee is for real threatened”

— Martin Löfberg, Purchasing Director and fourth generation Löfberg

 

 

Did you know – the average age of a coffee farmer in Colombia is 57, and in East Africa, 60? Coffee farmers are an ageing population and the unwillingness of the next generation to take over is seriously threatening the future supply of coffee.

On top of this, the vast majority of the climate impact from each cup of coffee we drink – 80 to 90 per cent – comes from farming the coffee. With coffee consumption increasing around 5% PER YEAR, it’s worrying to know that 50% of all the land where we grow coffee runs the risk of becoming unusable by 2050 due to climate change. 3

These two challenges are our most important sustainability issue by far. That’s why – through our Next Generation Coffee projects in Colombia, Kenya and Tanzania – we are working actively to provide farmers with education and practical training in sustainable farming, whilst improving development opportunities and living conditions for young farmers.

This all serves to increase productivity and improve coffee quality – contributing towards higher profits for the farmers in both the short and long term.

So far, 75,000 farmers’ livelihoods have been strengthened and participants have often doubled or even tripled their income.

 

IN TUNE WITH AGENDA 2030

These 3 key sustainable pledges strongly align with Agenda 2030, the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development, providing guidance for all our decisions, whether they relate to our work at origin, business development, product development or day-to-day operations.

 

LÖFBERGS AND PERCOL AT THE LONDON COFFEE FESTIVAL

For us, sustainability is crucial not only across our portfolios of products and at every stage of their life cycle, but across all our business practices and everything we do as companies. That’s why we’ve pledged to make our joint stand at the London Coffee Festival as sustainable as possible. Here’s how:

-> The Ground 2 Ground campaign: our initiative to prevent 7 tonnes of ground coffee waste generated at LCF from going to landfill. Our mission is to collect and compost the waste, which will be transformed into soil and plant fertilisers.

-> Our stand will be made from FSC Certified cardboard and the surface of the coffee bar will be made from upcycled plastic packaging from both brands – that would otherwise have ended up in landfill. The carcass of the bar is made from reclaimed wood and will be reused at future events.

-> You will be able to see and sample the world’s first plastic-free and home compostable packaging for Percol’s range of ground, beans and coffee bags.

-> The entire stand will be virgin paper free – 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.

 

1 Research commissioned by Percol and conducted by Censuswide, with 2024 General respondents between 26/10/2018-29/10/2018.

2Beverage Daily

3Climate Institute