Caffè Nero has 613 stores in the UK and Ireland and last year reported profits worth £22.5 million. But is the giant coffee retailer doing enough to reduce its environmental impact? bio-bean, is one company hoping to make a difference to one of the most popular industries and cultural trends driving 1000 coffee purchases in the UK every two minutes. In fact the amount of coffee waste produced by Caffè Nero alone each year would power a car 3,689 times around London’s motorway ring road. These findings have encouraged Caffè Nero to clean up their act and support bio-bean’s initiative to power the world by coffee. The two companies have teamed up with the recycling company First Mile, to convert ground coffee waste into biofuels or biochemicals for cars and homes.
bio-bean ( @bio_bean_UK ) was founded just two years ago and is the first company to industrialise used coffee waste into advanced biofuels and biochemicals. bio-bean’s pioneering coffee recycling factory in Cambridgeshire is the first in the world and can process up to 50,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds a year - the waste from 1 in 10 cups of coffee drunk in the UK. But alongside the production of coffee logs and biomass pellets, bio-bean is currently exploring ways to refine the oils within the coffee grounds to create biodiesel. Experiments reveal that one tonne of coffee waste could create 245 litres of liquid fuel which is enough to power four cars.
This collaboration marks the next step in Caffè Nero’s ( @CaffeNero_US ) dedication to improve their sustainability act. In their London and greater London stores they have tried to prevent unecessary waste going to landfill sites since 2010. So far, 70 percent of this has been recycled and a further 30 percent has been recovered. Now Caffè Nero have started working with London-based recycling firm First Mile ( @LondonRecycling ) to deliver the scheme, launched last July. First Mile was set up in 2004 to make it easier for businesses to recycle and now 14,000 corporations have joined the initiative which has prevented more waste in London and the midlands going to landfill. Their scheme with Caffè Nero means that the waste can be transported directly to bio-bean to avoid 125,000 road miles during the first year of the scheme.
By July 2017, when the scheme would have been in operation for a year, it is expected that Caffè Nero will have reused 218 tonnes of used coffee, enough to heat 435 homes for a year.
Matt Spencer, commercial director of Caffè Nero, said the firm was keen to make an environmental impact with the scheme, adding: “Any opportunity we have to make a bit of a difference we take, so we jumped at the chance to do it. We are committed to doing our bit to help address the recycling issues we all face today."
Since the partnership has been set up, Costa went one step further in December to announce that bio-bean would receive coffee waste from 850 of its stores across the UK, totaling to 3,000 tonnes of annual coffee waste. It looks like competition is heating up in the coffee industry thanks to bio-bean's initative.
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