Coffee has become a mainstay in the lives of many people around the world. People visit coffee shops to catch up over a sip of their favorite brews. This trend has given entrepreneurs the opportunity to capitalize on the growing demand for coffee shops and cafes. However, it is no secret that some of these outlets have contributed to increasing carbon footprints around the world. Despite the challenges faced in running an environmentally friendly and ethically sourced coffee shop, it is possible to do so and make a profit in the process!
As a business owner, you can make several minor adjustments to your business to ensure a cleaner, greener and more sustainable coffee shop. Here are some ideas to consider:
Source of sustainable coffee beans
The biggest selling point for any form of coffee is the quality of its coffee. However, it is best to consider environmentally conscious producers with green credentials when sourcing your coffee beans. Several producers claim to have green credentials; however, it is best to opt for certified options such as Rainforest Alliance, Organic, Fairtrade and UTZ. These options are known to have met strict standards set for environmental and social practices.
Replace single-use plastic
In the past, most coffee shops were characterized by single-use plastic cups and plates. However, to run an environmentally friendly store , it is best to eliminate single-use plastic. Instead, use wooden stirrers, paper straws, compostable cups, lids and plates. In this way, you can effectively help reduce the global carbon footprint through your small contribution. Ethically, you should consider working with forward-thinking suppliers who focus on sustainable business and do their part to help rid the world of plastic.
Invest in Energy Efficient Coffee Makers
Making coffee is a complex process that involves different appliances. With this in mind, you’ll want a commercial coffee roaster to brew the beans and an energy-efficient espresso machine to brew the coffee. Owning a coffee shop means that these machines are bound to run all day long, consuming large amounts of energy. When comparing prices, be sure to choose models with five-star energy ratings. This way, you can lower your utility bills, reduce carbon emissions and still provide customers with great coffee.
Use recycled décor
A coffee shop’s décor should be welcoming and relaxing for customers to enjoy their coffee. Upcycling can be a great way to add personality to your store while reducing waste. Upcycling can include repurposing old cans for potted plants, upcycling furniture with old chairs and stools, or creating cushions out of coffee bags. Whatever you decide, you can get creative with the designs to achieve the elegant and calm ambiance you need in a coffee shop.
Buy locally when possible
Opting to buy locally when possible is also a great way to run an environmentally friendly and ethically sourced coffee shop. By buying from locals, you can effectively support the local economy and give them the opportunity to grow. This is also an effective way to reduce your carbon footprint, as you don’t have to opt for industrially packaged milk or coffee beans. However, when buying locally, be sure to go with suppliers that adhere to strict standards regarding social and environmental practices. Examples of local sourcing are buying milk from a local farmer or getting your beans from a local roaster.
Offer water to customers
Coffee is known to dehydrate, especially when consumed in large quantities. After drinking coffee, most people buy water to replenish the lost water. However, they tend to buy water in plastic bottles. Instead of focusing only on profits, you can consider putting tap water and reusable cups on the tables. This way, your customers can get water without buying water in plastic bottles. This may affect your sales; however, it is an effective way to reduce plastic consumption. Aside from that, it is also a nice gesture for customers.
Choose a green waste management company
Working with green waste management companies is one of the most important steps in running an eco-friendly cafeteria. Choose a company with a proven reputation for proper waste disposal practices. The company should also focus on reducing the region’s carbon footprint and promoting sustainable and ethically sourced businesses.
As mentioned above, these are some of the adjustments you can make to your coffee shop to ensure you have a sustainable business.