Victoria's Oughtred Coffee & Tea champions the business case for carbon neutrality
As a family owned, BC-based company operating for 39 years, Oughtred Coffee & Tea is proud to say it has been running carbon neutral since 2009 and the business results are worth celebrating.
Since partnering with Synergy Enterprises and Offsetters, Canada’s leading carbon management solutions provider, Oughtred has experienced significant reductions in its carbon footprint. In 2009, Oughtred's total emissions were 517 tonnes. By installing a seven-stream waste management system that recycles Styrofoam, electronics, organics, soft plastics, coffee bags in addition to traditional recycling, eliminating paper transactions, tightening fleet routes, cutting back on air travel and installing a heat redistribution system, Oughtred’s emissions have decreased to 387 tonnes, a 25 per cent reduction in one year and holding steady! As well, landfill waste is down 75 per cent and energy costs are down 8.4 per cent. Adding streams such as composting organic waste was initially an added cost, but reducing landfill bin size and pick up resulted in net zero cost increase.
What’s up is brand recognition; Oughtred has been nominated for environmental awards such as the CRD Ecostar Award for Climate Action and the Better Business Bureau Torch Award and kudos from its customers for taking a leadership stance in providing the very best coffees and teas from around the world as sustainably as possible.
“For our company, sustainability has been a pursuit, rather than a definition", says Bob Duffin, Oughtred’s operations manager. “It requires a complete commitment to all aspects of coffee's production, from seed to cup, to fulfill its prophecy."
An example of Oughtred’s ingenuity combined with carbon management is their burlap sac recycling program. While most roasting sacs end up in the landfill, Oughtred has taken the initiative to donate their sacs to projects such as the construction of living roofs on Vancouver Island. Using the burlap sacs as temporary mats allows plants to grow on the roof, giving roots something to grasp onto. For builders, this translates into a significant cost saving, as builders would otherwise have to purchase pre-grown plants that are much more expensive.
To offset emissions that Oughtred cannot reduce, the company has invested in high-quality offset projects that promote the shift to a low carbon future. Projects include a Nanaimo landfill gas flaring project, which captures methane released during decomposition and uses it to produce electricity, a 13.25 MW wind farm in India, and a renewable energy and energy efficiency project at a greenhouse in Delta, BC where a biomass boiler and heat-trapping curtains were installed leading to significant emission reductions.
Oughtred’s commitment to sustainability expands into community outreach as well, with the Oughtred Coffee Trust. Each year, Oughtred selects one of its coffee farms around the world and donates the funds directly to the working families in an attempt to provide them with some much needed support (such as increased access to doctors, training, better living conditions, and child support).
"Our sustainability program has increased our environmental profile, marketability and staff engagement," says JP Oughtred. “Our goal is to become one of the greenest coffee companies in North America, not just for the bragging rights but because it also makes good business sense.”
More information about Oughtred Coffee &Tea may be found at www.oughtred.com.
Founded in 2008, Synergy Enterprises is a team of experienced consultants providing cost-effective sustainability programs for businesses. Working province-wide, Synergy has become the go-to for creative solutions that meet an organization’s social, environmental and economic targets. www.synergyenterprises.ca
Offsetters is Canada’s leading carbon management solutions provider, based in Vancouver, BC. Founded in 2005, the company helps organizations and individuals understand, reduce, and offset their climate impact. Offsetters was the first official supplier of carbon offsets in the history of the Olympic movement (Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games), and is proud to assist leading organizations manage their carbon footprints including Harbour Air, Vancity, and Aimia (formerly Groupe Aeroplan). For more information and a full list of all of Offsetters' clients and achievements, visit www.offsetters.ca.
Jill Doucette, Synergy Enterprises: 250-589-2599 or j...@synergyenterprises.ca
Deirdre Campbell, Tartan Group: 250-592-3838 or Deir...@tartangroup.ca
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