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CAN DRINKING COFFEE SAVE THE PLANET?

by Tom Anders on February 07, 2021

Probably not all by itself. But can we choose to buy coffee that plants trees? Yes. And can the trees we plant help renew the ecosystem of the planet? Also yes. 

 

Coffee drinking that plants trees! How does that work?

COFFEE FOR TREES is our blueprint for how coffee can save the planet. Our aim is to create a link between your choice to drink coffee and your care for the planet. Imagine living a life where every sip you take, you know a tree out there is growing because of you. 

 

Imagine a planet where we linked one of our greatest loves (coffee!) to the thing that gives us breath; trees. 

A culture where we don’t have to pick between ‘consuming’ or being ‘sustainable’, but where the very act of our consumption is an act of sustainability. This is what ‘Profit for Purpose’ means, and it’s already happening all over the world.

A bag of House Blend coffee by Blackstar Coffee Roasters

 

How does ‘Profit for Purpose work?

You’ve probably heard of WHO GIVES A CRAP, an Australian company that is committed to funding social change with the money they make from each item they sell. This isn’t just donating to charity. ‘Profit for purpose’ goes one step further. It provides an opportunity to ‘buy in’ to a more ethical economy, and into projects you care about. 

In the case of WHO GIVES A CRAP, they tackle the issue of sanitisation in developing countries by donating 50% of their profits to projects like installing toilets and washing stations (which is a huge deal, since hundreds and thousands of deaths a year can be prevented just by having access to these things!).. And so, when you buy WHO GIVES A CRAP toilet paper, you’re not just wiping your arse. You’re also buying fresh-water treatment facilities for the people who need it most. The idea is: good business, that does good.

Rachel Lyons, Business Development Manager at Noosa Landcare planting a tree

Rachel Lyons, Business Development Manager, Noosa Landcare.

 

So how is COFFEE FOR TREES profit for purpose?

It’s super simple. 

 

We’re committed to fund the planting of 3 trees for every KILO you purchase.

We do this through our reforestation project partners: Landcare Australia and Trees For the Future. 

In late 2019 we asked ourselves: as a coffee roasting company – what legacy do we want to leave as a business, and what impact do we want to make? As we looked closer, we noticed there was a really obvious global problem staring us all in the face – the climate crisis.  It was around the time of the Greta Thunberg speech. Mass student protests were being organised around the world and in Australia young people were leaving school classes (my kids included) to attend rallies calling for action to address the climate emergency. 

 

Businesses have power; so we decided to use ours for climate action. 

That’s where COFFEE FOR TREES emerged. Addressing the emergency by taking one of society’s most popular everyday items and linking it to something that can really help turn things around.

 And –like WHO GIVES A CRAP – we commit a percentage of our profits from every coffee to reforesting the planet, one tree at a time.




Why the climate crisis? Why not something like poverty or sanitisation? Why plant trees? We asked these questions to our friends and supporters (including Luke from Good North), and decided that we wanted to keep our impact as close to coffee as possible. We wanted to give back to the places we were picking from: to nature. We want to plant where we harvest. We want our consumption of coffee to help grow, not deplete, the planet. One Kilo. Three Trees. And guess what? We’ve already planted 5000 of them.

Our vision is beyond being a carbon neutral business. We don’t want to stop there. Australians are consuming 1.1 billion KILOS of coffee per year. Imagine if every roaster committed to planting 3 trees per kilo? That would be 3.3 billion trees per year. We have the power in our hands to create the economy we dream of.

The time has come for businesses to stand up for the planet, and we’re joining the mission. Will you join us?

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