Did you know that we Finns are world champions when it comes to coffee consumption? We love high-quality light-roasted coffee, and the morning cup of joe is so meaningful for us that many are willing to put aside scrolling social media, showering or brushing their teeth to get coffee first thing in the morning. A great cup of morning coffee sets off a successful day!
For me, coffee time is significant because I work with coffee, which is one of the most interesting products from the perspective of sustainability. A whole lot of emotion and cooperation is distilled into a single cup of coffee in which you can taste the valuable work of farmers in the country of origin, the touch of Paulig’s cupping team and the skill of the person making coffee at home. Massive amounts of effort have gone into every single coffee bean, both in the country of origin and here in Finland. Great coffee comes from verified sustainable sources – and deserves to be enjoyed down to the last drop.
Nowadays, climate issues are on everybody’s lips, as they should be, since the matter is crucial. That is why we at Paulig have adopted ambitious science-based climate targets. We want to operate sustainably, mitigate climate change and respect biodiversity. By 2030, we aim to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from our own operations by 80% and from our value chain by 50%.
The majority of the carbon footprint of coffee production comes from growing coffee beans in the countries of origin, which is why we are looking for ways to reduce emissions from coffee farming together with our partners. In addition, we support coffee farmers to adapt to climate change and global warming, in particular, through our partnership programmes. The work is very concrete, focusing on ensuring crops and the continuity of operations. For example, new coffee trees and shade trees are planted on farms. Renewing coffee trees regularly improves the farm’s profitability, and shade trees play a key role in maintaining biodiversity. They improve soil quality as well as curb erosion and water evaporation at plantations. Shade trees also act as carbon sinks to fight climate change.
Today, on International Coffee Day, in cooperation with K grocery stores we have initiated a collection campaign through which you can support sustainable and profitable coffee cultivation. I think it’s great that we can fight climate change together and ensure the continuity of coffee production.
In addition to taking part in the campaign, you can and should act sustainably in your home kitchen. In coffee production, the second largest impact on the climate is the coffee being prepared and enjoyed, and coffee waste amounts to approximately 13% of households’ annual food waste. This means that a coffee-drinking Finn pours almost 2.5 litres of coffee down the drain every year! In my opinion, this has to change, which is why I would like to challenge all coffee drinkers to reduce waste and make use of our climate-friendly tips for making coffee.
At Paulig, we have worked with coffee since 1876. We are doing everything in our power to ensure that coffee will be a livelihood and pleasure also in the future. We source coffee beans from verified sustainable sources and roast Finns’ favourite coffees in carbon-neutral roasteries. We also invest in packaging development and projects that promote circular economy; for instance, we recycle coffee beans into new ingredients for the cosmetics industry and functional food through our partner. In so doing, our aim is to secure that also future generations can enjoy their coffee time, which will still leave a great aftertaste.
I hope your daily life is delicious!
Director, Sustainability and Public Affairs, Paulig
Climate-friendly tips for making coffee:
Reduce wastage: do not make more coffee than you are going to drink. If you make a lot of coffee at once, pour the coffee into a thermos. The coffee will retain its fresh taste in the thermos for half an hour. You can also freeze excess coffee into coffee ice cubes that are perfect for cooling down a hot coffee beverage or to be enjoyed as they are, with milk, for example. In addition, coffee can be used in different dressings, dips and baking.
Save electricity: Switch off your coffee maker once the coffee is ready. Don’t let the coffee sit in the coffee maker.
Recycle used coffee grounds: compost the used coffee grounds or discard them in the biowaste bin – if you have a rose bush in your garden, you can throw the used coffee grounds under the bush. In winter, you can use coffee grounds for gritting roads. Coffee grounds are also suitable for beauty care as they can be used to exfoliate the skin, for example.
Washing up: wash the coffee cups and coffee pot in a dishwasher, and wash only when the dishwasher is fully loaded.
Recycle or reuse the coffee package: The laminated package is made of highly durable material that can be transformed into all sorts of useful things, such as shopping bags, bread baskets as well as jewellery or other decorative objects. If you will not use the coffee package in your arts and crafts, sort the empty coffee package in the plastic waste bin.