We’re Carbon-Neutral (Negative, Actually) - And We Can Prove It!

Transparency is key to doing ethical business. So, since our last carbon audit was in 2016, we wanted to track our progress on reducing our carbon footprint. We used the Greenhouse Gas Protocol methodology and, to spoil the ending…our coffee is CARBON-NEGATIVE! This means that our reforestation, composting, recycling, and solar power efforts sequester and save more carbon from the atmosphere than our coffee processing contributes! Here’s the TL;DR on how we calculated our carbon footprint:
Dean’s Beans Carbon Flow
(Green steps in the diagram show the scope we factored into our carbon footprint)
A flow chart with photos outlining the inputs to our carbon audit scope
Defining our scope 
“Scope” sets a boundary around the steps of the production, transportation and consumption of a good or service in which the company is responsible for the carbon emissions (measured in CO2). This inevitably includes carbon footprint “overlap” since we counted some CO2-emitting activities by other intermediary companies, but we tried not to take credit for carbon-sequestration activities funded by others. In other words, we defined our scope to include only the CO2 emissions, sequestration and savings for which we have primary responsibility. We did not include either on-farm decisions and transportation in the coffee-producing countries, or water use and incoming supplies in the roastery.

Limitations 
It’s important to know that our calculations are, like all in carbon audits, significant estimates due to limitations such as availability of data and assumptions that all activities in our scope always go according to plan.

Carbon “cushion” 
Given these uncertainties, we used the high-end estimation of emissions whenever possible, and even so, we have a cushion of about 7,000 tons of CO2! This cushion comes from our massive tree-planting efforts in collaboration with our co-ops in Peru, Honduras, Sumatra, Madagascar, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and India, since each mature tree in the tropics sequesters about 50 lbs of CO2 annually.

For more information on our calculations, feel free to contact us! We'd be happy to share more about our ongoing efforts to remain carbon negative and increase our impact. 
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1 comment

  • great job Dean…I would love to look over your carbon analysis, for my own interest during this carbon time

    fred

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