I don’t know about you but I’m getting a bit weary of the whole ‘2020 has been a tough year’ thing. I mean, of course it has - and our industry has been affected like so many others but there are good things that have come out of 2020 too.
It’s been necessary to make some changes to how we operate as well as testing lots of things out, so that we can do a better job, whatever difficulties we face. We’ve learned a lot.
As we are here at the end of the year, the main thing I have taken away is how amazing our customers are. To all of you that have chosen to continue supporting us, and other independent businesses like ours, I want to say a huge, heart-felt thank you. We survived, and it’s down to you.
Now, it’s time to look forward and think about what we want to achieve in 2021.
Our big goal for this coming year is to work towards becoming a ‘carbon neutral’ business and we’re hoping to get there by the end of 2021.
You may already be aware that we have always tried to find environmentally friendly ways of doing things and we now want to take that a step further and get an accurate idea of our impact on the environment, so that we reduce our carbon footprint as far as possible - and offset anything that we can’t eliminate.
The first half of the year will be spent doing a carbon audit. We’ll be looking at a whole range of areas. The easy things are right in front of us. How do we use less energy? Can we ensure that we have done all we can to secure energy from renewable sources? Could our packaging be better for the environment?
Then there is the trickier stuff. What is the carbon impact of transporting coffee from origin, thousands of miles away and having it delivered to us in Sheffield? What about our other suppliers? What are they doing to reduce their footprint? - can they change? - if not, can we find alternative suppliers who can? How about our deliveries? - are we using couriers that are also making as much effort as they can to reduce their impact too?
Once we start to scope out this work, it becomes clear that it is a really big project and an ongoing one. We need to build systems that keep track of this information so that we can constantly achieve more.
Our aim is to be as transparent as we can about it all too, so we will share what we learn and hopefully help other small businesses consider how they could go about this kind of work themselves.
The second part of the process is reducing our footprint as much as we can by systematically reviewing all our operational processes and looking for ways of running things more efficiently, switching suppliers where necessary and considering the impact on the environment when considering new projects.
Finally, we’ll look at the best ways of offsetting what we can’t eliminate and explore ways of doing this that have the maximum amount of impact.
Climate change is a major issue for all of us. I suspect that if we were coffee farmers, we’d be feeling the impact of climate change even more. As the climate changes, coffee gets harder to grow and harvest - and many commentators in our industry have predicted that speciality coffee will be hit hard as the climate heats up.
Its seems like a good time to start being more intentional and focussed on this issue and I’m looking forward to keeping you updated on our progress as we go. It’s both exciting and daunting and we’re all looking forward to getting stuck in.
In the meantime, enjoy the rest of 2020, keep drinking great coffee and have a happy and peaceful 2021.
On behalf of Team Foundry - all the best,