Douwe Egberts is committed to making the tea and coffee market more sustainable across the world. This is much needed, as the environmental and social challenges are huge. Natural resources are becoming scarcer and scarcer and climate change is a serious problem.
In recent years more farmers decided to step out of the coffee and tea sector while worldwide demand for these products is on the rise. Partly because of this Douwe Egberts has been moving heaven and earth to make the tea and coffee market more sustainable.
What exactly does a sustainable tea and coffee sector look like? At the moment we can only guess, but we do have some ideas. First of all, nature and the climate will be protected while growing and processing these products. Also, we seek to have a value chain in which all are capable of building a good existence. And thirdly, tea and coffee are considered to be binding 'tools' for social coherence in a sustainable society.
Promoting entrepreneurship among tea and coffee farmers, that is what our sustainability policy is all about. Caring about quality, the people and the environment is pivotal. Since 2002 and through our Douwe Egberts Foundation, we have helped about 60,000 farmers improve their cultivation methods. This approach ensures better yields and better harvest quality, allowing farmers' incomes to climb accordingly. Visit: www.defoundation.org
Since 2004 we have been working together with UTZ Certified, which is an independent hallmark for sustainable coffee and tea. Whoever buys UTZ Certified coffee, cacao or tea, helps create a better tomorrow. It is because UTZ Certified stands for sustainable agriculture with better opportunities for farmers, their families and our planet. And, it helps us improve the environment and obviously we can secure mother earth's natural resources. Today and tomorrow. It tastes much better. For more information, visit: www.utzcertified.org
Douwe Egberts buys sustainable, certified coffee. By 2013 the amount of UTZ Certified coffee had reached 90 million kilograms, 25% of all the coffee the company bought across the globe and more than 90 billion cups of coffee served.
Our production waste has a significant value. We try reusing residual current as much as we possibly can. For instance, our factory in Joure has been using the coffee grounds of the coffee making process since 1967 to provide fuel for a steam boiler. In May 2013 we placed yet another boiler. As a result, the factory has been generating its own green energy almost entirely, emitting less CO2 at the same time. Even the coffee bean husks are used as fuel or alternatively, we offer them to the agricultural sector for soil improvement.
Our challenge is to have packaging that is even kinder to the environment. The rising numbers of one-cup packs is causing a larger amount of packaging. We help improve the environmental performances of our packaging by developing lighter alternatives and using recyclable and recycled materials whenever we can. Our product developers keep a sustainability score card to continuously upgrade the environmental performances of our packaging.
During all transport activities, we invest our best efforts to push down the CO2 emissions. It is our goal to reduce our CO2 discharge level by 20% by the year 2015, compared to 2007. Douwe Egberts has invested heavily in projects aimed at exchanging road transportation for more environmentally friendly water-based alternatives. For instance, unprocessed coffee from Antwerp is supplied onboard ships most of the time. It helps us discharge less CO2, but also we are able to save on fuel costs.
A few years ago we set up a logistics network called FLAME in cooperation with other companies. The English translation of FLAME stands for flexibility, reliable delivery, delivery models, corporate social responsibility and efficiency. By combining rides and cargoes we are able to avoid unnecessary or empty return drives. Also, participants embrace economical trucks and paperless procedures as much as possible. In 2011 we received the Lean and Green Award for our CO2 objectives at the logistical level.
Our service staff set out every day to maintain our coffee makers at the customers'. The company cars they use are exchanged for economical alternatives discharging less CO2. Also, staff receive training to learn how they should drive the ECO-Pro way. For these efforts that will ensure 20% less CO2 emission, in 2012 we received the Lean&Green Personal Mobility award. In 2013 the first electrical company cars were taken into use.
Tea and coffee bring people together, creating a moment to unwind or simply think about how you've spent your day. We want our customers to enjoy tea and coffee and at the same time we want to help them reduce the environmental footprint of that cup of tea or coffee they are about to enjoy. For instance, we advise our customers to choose sustainable coffee, energy-efficient settings of the coffee maker and proper waste processing. And, we want our customers to be closer to and perfectly aware of the source of tea and coffee. Together with our colleagues, we want to encourage those responsible for building the coffee makers to develop environmentally friendly devices.
Preparing your coffee and keeping it at the right temperature determines the environmental footprint of your cup for up to 60%. The following tips will help you reduce the environmental impact:
• Choose Douwe Egberts coffee and Pickwick tea, because each melange contains more and more sustainable natural resources.
• Use low-energy devices.
• Only use the amount of coffee and tea you really need
• Use a thermos flask to keep your coffee at the right temperature. It is how you protect the flavour.
• Separate waste as much as you can.
In the Netherlands about 30% of sustainable certified coffee is processed in our Douwe Egberts coffee. And 40% in Pickwick tea. This you can tell by our logo for a more sustainable world. Your cup of coffee or tea will be even more sustainable if you make sure to pick our products with the sustainability hallmark attached to the packaging, like the UTZ Certified hallmark. These products are made of nothing but sustainably grown coffee beans or tea leaves. Examples: our Douwe Egberts L’OR EspressO and Senseo Sarista melanges, Espresso beans and Pickwick Rooibos tea.
After we enjoyed our delicious cup of coffee, we need to dispose of the coffee grounds and packaging. By separating this waste correctly, we help protect the environment. Coffee grounds, tea bags and Senseo pads containing pure coffee belong with the GFT waste, which provides compost or biogas after processing. Paper belongs with old paper and plastic items and needs to be disposed of in the Plastic Heroes bags or containers for recycling.
In addition to our strong brands and long experience, it is definitely our staff who make a difference in the coffee and tea market. They are our ambassadors. It's why we allow them to experience the coffee and tea sensation in many different ways, seeking to create an enthusiastic hands-on working atmosphere.