What is the Carbon Footprint of your coffee?

Coffee is the most popular drink in the world with more than 400 billion cups consumed each year. With consumers having to become more aware of their carbon footprint now we though it'd be interesting to dive deeper into the emissions output from your favourite hot drinks.

Hot chocolate has the highest emissions – 0.89kgCO2e for a large and 0.77kgCO2e for a regular. Lattes (0.63kgCO2e for a regular) and cappuccinos (0.44kgCO2e) come next followed by flat whites (0.41kgCO2e). However, if whole milk is swapped for skimmed, the footprints fall slightly.

Growing a single kilogram of Arabica coffee in either country and exporting it to the UK produces greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 15.33 kg of carbon dioxide on average. However if we used less fertiliser, managed water and energy use more efficiently during the exporting process using alternative methods such as ship than aeroplane, that figure would fall to 3.51kg of CO2 equivalent per kg of coffee.

That’s raw, pre-roasted beans (otherwise known as “green coffee”) produced using conventional methods. But by using less fertiliser, managing water and energy use more efficiently during milling and exporting the beans by cargo ship rather than aeroplane, that figure falls to 3.51 kg of CO₂ equivalent per kg of coffee.

There are plenty of other ways to shrink the carbon footprint of sustainable coffee even further, like replacing chemical fertilisers with organic waste and using renewable energy to power farm equipment. Roasting coffee beans in their country of origin makes them lighter during transport too, so vessels can burn less fuel transporting the same amount of coffee.

At Cawleys we are doing our bit to help reduce waste in the hot drink sector, we now offer a service that allows you to recycle both your business’s coffee grounds and disposable cups. By putting both your coffee cups and grounds to work your organisation is helping to reduce emission output.

Speak to Cawleys about how your business could save money and help the environment by recycling coffee cups and grounds today.

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