Green coffee exporter Caravela Coffee has been awarded the Carbon Neutral Silver Standard certification by One Carbon World, an initiative that seeks to help organisations achieve carbon neutrality.
One Carbon World measured Caravela’s carbon footprint across its 11 global operations, verifying that the exporter’s 2020 greenhouse gas emissions were equal to 1480 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).
This represents a 19.5 per cent decrease in CO2e from 2019, in part due to a reduction in travel and employee commuting caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘We are thrilled to announce that Caravela Coffee has achieved carbon neutrality for all the footprint that was measured,” says Andrew Bowen, CEO of One Carbon World.
“At One Carbon World, we are really proud of their achievements, and we are determined to support Caravela Coffee in their commitment to sustainability and responsible sourcing throughout their entire supply chain.”
Caravela’s outputs were measured using One Carbon World’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol, under scopes one, two, and three. One Carbon World also helped offset the totality of the verified footprint through the purchase of verified carbon credits from the La Pitanga, or the Weyerhaeuser Uruguay reforestation project.
This project was begun in 2006 and sees 44,950 acres of land that was previously used for cattle grazing being reforested. This project aims to reduce the volume of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The project is verified by the Rainforest Alliance and is expected to remove more than 5.6 million tonnes of CO2e and reduce the amount of carbon credits retired from the United Nation’s platform across the project’s lifespan.
“We are extremely proud of this achievement of reaching carbon neutrality of our operations worldwide. Climate change is one of the starkest challenges that coffee growers [and everyone] around the world face,” says Alejandro Cadena, CEO of Caravela.
Caravela says its journey to achieve carbon neutrality started in 2017 when the organisation began measuring its carbon footprint and understanding which areas of operation generated the most emissions.
The company then began implementing strategies to reduce its emissions, including upgrading its 2019 equipment and installing solar panels on the roof of its dry mill located in Armenia, Colombia.
According to Caravela, this has helped reduce its energy consumption per bag milled by 30 per cent over the last two years.
Other actions have seen Caravela buying clean energy in its United Kingdom and United States offices, and reducing the use of plastic and paper. It also made a commitment to source a majority of its supplies domestically.
“By doing our part we hope to help mitigate the impact that our operations have on the planet and coffee farmers worldwide. But this is only the first step in doing our share to start healing our ailing planet,” says Cadena.
In 2018 and 2019, Caravela says it voluntarily offset its calculated carbon footprint through partnering with Colombian environmental initiative MasBosques and environmental agency Carder, providing economic support to 12 coffee producing families in Risaralda, Colombia.
These families are protecting 56 acres of native forests that are carbon sinks. Caravela says it is committed to supporting these families over the next few years.
Caravela says to ensure the survival of the coffee industry, sustainable production must be supported, not only socially and economically, but environmentally as well. By supporting the entire value chain, the organisation believes greater awareness of the industry’s biggest challenges can be generated and solved.
“By 2025, we aim to have every kilogram of green coffee we purchase certified as carbon neutral, by working alongside our partner growers to implement climate-friendly practices on their farms,” says Cadena.
“Our mission of making coffee better doesn’t stop at flavour; it also entails making our supply chain greener.”