Tag Archives: environment

Counter Culture’s 2015 Greenhouse Gas Report

Counter Culture’s Honest, Thoughtful Greenhouse Gas Report

Counter Culture Coffee photo, taken at the Durham (N.C.) roastery and headquarters.

Counter Culture Coffee photo, taken at the Durham (N.C.) roastery and headquarters.

We devote a lot of space on this site — some readers might even say too much space — to environmental sustainability issues. Most often the focus of these issues is within the coffee supply chain from seed to import, with particular attention to supply sustainability, certification developments and other environmental and economic issues at origin.

Significantly less spotlight has been shone on environmental sustainability initiatives in the places where coffee is roasted and consumed in its largest quantities — the very places that generate the lion’s share of greenhouse gas emissions within the coffee chain. One of the driving factors in that lack of information is simply that there is less notable work routinely being done on this front.

That’s why the latest in-house sustainability report from wholesale coffee roaster Counter Culture Coffee is so significant — reaching levels of transparency and accountability related to greenhouse gas emissions not commonly seen in the coffee roasting/retailing industry.

When last May we spoke with Meredith Taylor, who had recently joined CCC as sustainability coordinator, she said one of the company’s immediate sustainability goals was to dig deeper into the company’s own sustainability practices stateside, beginning with clearer and more comprehensive tracking and reporting of things like water and energy usage.

One of numerous graphs contained in the report.

One of numerous graphs contained in the report.

It’s no small task, and while CCC has been tracking some of its direct greenhouse emissions since 2010 and buying carbon credits to offset them, the “2014 Greenhouse Gas Report” is its most comprehensive to date. It takes into account not only CCC’s direct emissions through things like propane usage in roasting and fuel usage in fleet vehicles, but also secondary “scopes,” such as emissions from third parties beyond CCC’s control, like those from UPS resulting from the shipping of CCC’s coffees throughout the country.