12.12.2023 Press release
Paulig’s ground coffee waste is now used to produce natural dyes for textile industry. Paulig has collaborated with the Finnish startup Natural Indigo that produces natural dyes on an industrial scale from the side streams of Paulig’s carbon neutral coffee roastery in Vuosaari. The dyes, which range from different shades of gold and brown to even blue, have sparked international interest. This collaboration supports Paulig’s ambitious sustainability targets to drive climate actions and circularity in our own operations and value chain. 

We are very excited about this collaboration. It is great to see the side stream of our coffee production find a new purpose as raw material in a completely different industry. Our ambition is to be a sustainable frontrunner in the industry, and in addition to it minimising waste and advancing circularity of materials in our own actions, we are also constantly seeking to find new solutions and support innovations through collaborations”, says Kaisa Lipponen, SVP, Communications and Sustainability at Paulig.   

Paulig’s Vuosaari coffee roastery, located in Helsinki, Finland, is one of the largest coffee roasteries in Europe. It produces 60 million coffee packages a year and has more than 200 end products. The roastery operates with 100% renewable energy and has achieved CarbonNeutral® building certification. 

"We have focused on developing our process so that the coffee waste created is as minimal as possible. This is achieved through modern tools and efficient quality control at different stages of the production process. For example, if a coffee package does not meet our quality criteria, our automated process detects it, and the coffee is repacked,” says Jorma Varis, Director, Operations Roasting at Paulig. 

From coffee to hues of gold and blue 

The coffee waste from Vuosaari goes to Natural Indigo’s factory where the colour is extracted from the coffee grounds and further refined to natural dyes in different colours – from shades of yellow, orange and brown to even blue.  The dyes produced from coffee production side streams have already been used by different Finnish textile companies in their products.  

"We are very happy to collaborate with Paulig and combine our passion for sustainable innovations. Using ground coffee waste as an ingredient for natural dyes has sparked a lot of interest both domestically and internationally," says Pasi Ainasoja, CEO of Natural Indigo. 

Well-known and loved Finnish design house Marimekko is also excited about natural dyes. 

At Marimekko, we want to be a forerunner in developing our products and practices throughout the value chain. Natural dyes are one of the areas where Marimekko is seeking to find alternatives to more conventional materials. Marimekko and Natural Indigo Finland have been collaborating since 2019. We are very happy that along the way, the Marimekko printing factory in Helsinki has been used in testing, e.g, the use quality and color fastness of different dyes and thus helped in the wider use of natural dyes in the textile industry,” says Riika Wikberg, Marimekko’s Chief Business Development Officer, responsible for the company’s sustainability transformation journey.  

Side streams into use  

In addition to Natural Indigo collaboration, Paulig’s coffee production side stream is already used in different industries.  

Danish bioscience company Kaffe Bueno upcycles the side stream of Paulig’s coffee roastery into coffee oil and other active ingredients, for the cosmetics, nutraceuticals and functional foods industries. For example, Finnish company Berner’s XZ brand uses the upcycled coffee oil in their XZ Caramel Coffee hair product series. Paulig’s venture arm PINC has invested into Kaffe Bueno. 

About Paulig

Paulig is a family-owned food and beverage company, growing a new, sustainable food culture – one that is good for both people and the planet. Paulig provides all things tasty; coffees and beverages, Tex Mex and spices, snacks and plant-based choices. The company's brands are Paulig, Santa Maria, Risenta, Poco Loco and Zanuy. Paulig’s sales amounted to EUR 1,1 billion in 2022. The company has 2,300 passionate employees in 13 different countries working around the purpose For a life full of flavour.  www.pauliggroup.com 

About Natural Indigo 

Natural Indigo produces natural dyes on an industrial scale, sourcing from side streams in the forestry and food industry. In addition to their application in the textile and fashion industry, these dyes can be used in biomaterials, the paper and packaging industry, as well as in various ecological coatings for glass, wood, or metal. The company is a frontrunner in scaling natural dyes to an industrial level in Europe. www.naturalindigo.fi

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