We had an interesting afternoon at The Sustainability and Market Insight Seminar in the company of The British Coffee Association. Guest speakers included Tess Riley from The Guardian, Matthew Robinson from HSBC, George May from Bio Bean, and Gavin Ellis from Hubbub.
Kicking things off Tess gave us an interesting insight into how the media views the coffee industry and what they will be getting their teeth into over the coming months. Sustainability in the growers community, tackling deforestation and the issues surrounding throw away cups are definitely the most topical currently.
Following this we heard from a man with quite possibly the longest job title – Matthew Robinson – Sustainability Engagement Head and Sustainability Leadership Programme Lead for HSBC (phew!) Having wondered what part a bank could be playing in this field it became apparent that it is a big one! HSBC seem passionate about their global responsibilities from the ground floor recycling and a reduction in carbon footprints, to their Climate Centre for Excellence awarding Green Bonds to customers working hard to make a difference.
Next came George May from Bio Bean taking coffee consumption and recycling into the future. With over 70 million tonnes of waste and toxins being thrown away its fantastic news to know that this innovative company is using it for the good! Currently being turned into bio mass briquettes and pellets for burners, they also have product development ongoing to produce bio diesel, and bio chemicals – we’re watching this space with interest…
And finally we heard from Hubbub an environmental charity set up to challenge the current problem of 7 million cups being thrown away daily, with no way of reusing them through mainstream recycling. #1moreshot is a chance to put your cup into a designated station instead of the bin so that these cups can be kept separate and transformed into other plastic products. We think this is a great idea, and will welcome the cup stations in as many locations as possible.
Knowing that the coffee industry provides work for 120 million of the worlds poorest people and after crude oil is the 2nd most sought after commodity worth over 1 billion USD we agree its extremely important that we look after this precious bean. But this is the thing – if we don’t, with 2 billion cups of coffee consumed worldwide how will we meet the demand of producers needing to triple their production by 2050…? its definitely food for thought.