3. SUSTAINABLE SOURCING OF OTHER PRODUCTS
This strategic pillar focuses on our approach to securing sustainable supply chains outside of our coffee products – everything from our Espresso Warehouse products; to coffee machines; to the products we use internally for our operations. Here, we take a closer look at one of our tea supply chains, our recycling partnership with BRITA, and, the progress that has been made on packaging innovations.
Consumer focus on health & wellness and the environment continues to drive growth in dairy alternatives across UK coffee shops.
Whilst cow's milk is a more “complete” source of protein, unsweetened non-dairy milks generally have fewer calories, less sugar, and less fat. For these reasons, plant milks are ideal for anyone who is vegan, lactose-intolerant, allergic to milk, or watching their cholesterol intake.
From an environmental perspective, cow’s milk has significantly higher impacts than the plant-based alternatives across all metrics. It causes around three times as much greenhouse gas emissions, uses around ten times as much land, two to twenty times as much freshwater and creates much higher levels of eutrophication (water pollution from nutrients).
Our NEW Plant-based Alternative Milks
We further extended our range of barista-grade plant-based alternative milks to include our Espresso Warehouse Oat, Almond, Coconut and Soya drinks. By encouraging our customers to make the change to non-dairy milk, we can help to reduce our supply chain emissions as well as cater to a wider range of dietary requirements. From their launch in May 2022 up until the end of 2022, we sold 102,924 cartons of non-dairy milks.
Improving our Packaging
As part of our drive to be Net Zero by 2040, we are looking to reduce our emissions as much as possible, as well as promote a circular economy. From a packaging perspective, this includes looking for opportunities to reduce packaging, increase recyclability and increase recycled content wherever possible. Below are some examples of recent actions we’ve taken to continually improve our product packaging offerings.
Recyclable Coffee Bags
In 2022, we launched our Peak and Wild coffee brand including a Peak & Wild retail range. As part of our ambition to have 100% recyclable or compostable packaging, we ensured that the retail bag is fully recyclable for our customers. The packaging can be recycled with other soft plastics at local supermarkets.
Recycled Content Tapes
Where plastic is necessary for functionality of our packaging, we aim to reduce it as much as possible and switch virgin plastics for plastic that has been recycled. In our coffee production area, we have switched from 100% virgin plastic tapes to tapes which contain 85% recycled plastic content. This now means all our coffee cases are sealed with 85% recycled content tape.
Reducing our Coffee Packaging
In 2022, we trialled reducing the height of our 1kg coffee bags by 7.5%. So far, we have reduced the height on 25% of our 1kg coffee bags, with the remaining 75% being reduced by the end of 2023. From this point onwards, all new 1Kg coffee bags will be shorter as standard. Once all changes have been implemented, we are expected to save 3,064kg of packaging per year!
Further to this, we have changed the format of how our Decaf coffees (bean format) are packed to increase the amount of coffee per bag from 220g to 500g. This equates to a saving in packaging per kilo of coffee of 38%. Since the new format was launched, we have saved 45kg of laminate and the predicted annual savings will be 686kg once it has been fully implemented.