The British Coffee Association has announced seven sustainability goals to help the UK coffee industry embed the concept of a circular economy.
The BCA has published a white paper containing the goals, Bean to Bin and Beyond, which details the progress, barriers and opportunities in embedding a fully circular economy in the UK coffee industry.
Aiming to become the first industry to achieve a fully circular supply chain in the UK, the report sets out a clear framework to help BCA members and the industry-at-large achieve this ambition.
Bean to Bin and Beyond includes seven goals to pave the way for the coffee industry to achieve key principles of circularity, in line with the UK government’s 25-year environmental plan which sets out the UK’s vision to reduce waste and our environmental impact.
The BCA goals for the coffee industry include achieving zero waste packaging by 2025 with 100 per cent recyclable or re-usable packaging across all products with 0 per cent of waste going to landfill.
The white paper builds on the sustainability BCA Sustainability Mission published by the trade organisation in September 2017 and recognises that there are a great number of opportunities to be harnessed and an equal number of challenges yet to be overcome in order to achieve a sustainable circular economy.
Among the key challenges to overcome that are identified is closer industry collaboration and, vitally, stronger government commitment in expanding existing recycling infrastructure available in the UK and improving consistency in material recycling across local authorities.
The report also highlights the progress made to date, detailing a number of key sustainability initiatives underway across the industry including the circularity from the capturing of waste coffee grounds to embedding green transport infrastructure, to supporting farms in origin countries in reducing waste and improving efficiency.
Chris Stemman, Executive Director of the British Coffee Association (BCA, shown here), said “We are committed to supporting our members and the industry as a whole achieve a truly circular economy in the UK coffee industry.
“Sustainability sits at the heart of our organization and as a collaborative body that brings together a multitude of coffee companies in the UK, we are perfectly placed to lead and champion an initiative such as this.
“Publication of this report shows just how far the UK industry has come in the last few years with regards to sustainability and the environment. The report outlines some great progress and fantastic projects that are really getting to the heart of the issues and we are committed to continuing to support this work and addressing the gaps that remain.
“However, the white paper also provides focus for what we need to do better to achieve our stated goals whilst also calling on and supporting UK government to improve and make more consistent the UK recycling capability across the country.”
The latest statistics from the BCA show that 95 million cups of coffee are consumed every day in the UK. As consumer demand continues to increase, the sector is taking steps to ensure that circularity of material use and re-use is central to the development of coffee supply chain strategies.
José Sette, Executive Director of the International Coffee Organization said, “It is hugely encouraging to see the BCA has set sustainability so high on its agenda. The UK coffee industry has seen impressive growth across the sector and contributes around £10 billion to the UK economy, so to see such important leadership in promoting and advancing sustainability through the circular economy is hugely important and we encourage wider industry sectors to do the same.”
For more details see the November 2018 issue of Coffee & Cocoa International.