Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Our current efforts and future plans
We take guidance from the UN's hierarchy of waste for making decisions in our business. Some of these initiatives, like packing coffee for wholesale customer in buckets, we've being doing for eons. Some are new, like bringing your own canister to take home beans.
All of our initiatives are thoughtfully researched based on the hierarchy of waste, and make sense for our business, but we've certainly got more ways to reduce emissions, waste & carbon footprint. We'll talk about our waste reduction mainly, but will cover energy & transport, as well.
Reduction of Printed Items | We stopped producing individual source cards for each coffee. Those (much loved) source cards were sent with every online order, to our shops and wholesale customers to present when a single origin coffee was served. We created a generic brand 'card,' not pertaining to each coffee, and have found a large reduction in waste. There's a QR code on the generic card which directs customers to read about the coffee they are drinking.
Labels | we bought a professional label printer, to change to a print-on-demand model, rather than ordering in bulk from an external printer. For a number of reasons, we may have had an overruns, or mistakes from the printer or us, which created a decent amount of waste. Being in control of the print has given us flexibility, and another further in waste.
Juggler | A milk dispensing unit which draws from 10L bladders, automatically doses according to the jug. We use this at Traveller, and are working on having it installed at our cafes, but space is limited. Our milk waste, and 2L bottle waste has reduced from using Juggler.
Buckets | for all our delivery accounts, we pack their coffee into 4kg reusable buckets, and are now introducing a smaller, 2kg bucket so more types of coffee can be packed into.
BYO/Reusable | we've been a customer of KeepCup for over ten years. We sell their cups in our shops, and offer a discount to anyone who 'BYO's' a cup. The discount is greater than the cost of a paper cup & lid, 50 cents, and can share with you the BYO Cup rate at our shops:
Seven Seeds, 10%
Brother Baba Budan, 13%
Deposit Scheme, Returnr | We've also introduced Returnr products to our shops. They're a new company which utilises the cafe and food venue for their 'free to borrow' packaging. Simply leave a $6 deposit to borrow a cup, bowl, or canister. Keep using it until you don't need to anymore, and return it to anywhere in the network for your deposit to be returned.
Bags | we've now implemented soft plastic recyclable bags. The previous bags were paper, with foil lining that could not be separated from each other, rendering them not recyclable. You can place your bag in the Recycle bin at Coles or Woolworths.
RecycleMe Cups | From South Australian company, Detpak, we've introduced their Recyclable paper cup system to Seven Seeds & Traveller. The cups can be recycled up to 7 times at the Australian Paper Mill, in Maryvale. The cups are collected in our shops, via a special bin we have near the door.
Cold Filter Cans | We're stoked our cold filter product in cans have been received so well. We're onto our second run of 10,000 cans. Aluminium is recycled very quickly, within 21 days here in Melbourne.
Soft Plastics | Reground, who we mention a little later, collect our soft plastic waste at the roastery & at Carlton.
COMPOSTABLE / ORGANICS
Organics | We sort out waste between general, recycling, soft plastic and organics. Our waste collection company, collect all our general, recycling & organics.
Coffee Grounds & Chaff | Reground popped up a couple of years ago. They offer a waste removal service from the coffee & cafe industry. We pay them to collect coffee grounds from our cafes, and coffee chaff, the dried skin that's a waste product from roasting, here's an example of their transparency report that covers Seven Seeds cafe and the Roastery, combined.
Hessian Bags | The hessian bags that green coffee is transported in, gets picked up by garden group, every couple of weeks and used in their garden.
POWER, UTILITIES, TRANSPORT
Electricity | Our power is Carbon Offset through our providers, PowerShop at all our locations.
Air Travel | We make up to eight trips a year to meet our producer partners. The trips are essential for quality checking, to continue relationships, and build new partnerships. We very much operate within Victoria, and seldom travel interstate for business.
Shipping Coffee |The vast majority of our coffee is shipped by sea.
Espresso Machines | Our La Marzocco machinery operate on Eco Mode, at all times of the day.
COFFEE EXCESS DONATION
We roast to order for wholesale and retail customers, and have little wastage as a result, less than 3%. But when we do, we donate to FoodBank, which we've done for over 24 months.
WHERE WE CAN IMPROVE
Solar | Our roastery would be best suited for solar panels. We're going to start investigate our capacity and costs to implement.
B Corp | We're keen to start our application to become a B.Corp business. A lot of our practices aren't formalised in the manner B. Corp requires, which will take some time. This is mainly because we're a small business, and communication is usually by email.
Delivery Vans | With the growth of the electric car market, we'll look to replace our petrol vans at the end of their life.