Corporate Social Responsibility writer for Justmeans, Antonio Pasolini is a journalist based in Brazil who writes about alternative energy, green living and sustainability. He also edits Energyrefuge.com, a top web destination for news and comment on renewable energy and Elpis.org, a recycled paper bag/magazine distributed from health food stores in London, formerly his hometown for over a decade....
Green Mountain Fair Trade Coffee Trader Releases Sustainability Report
Coffee tastes better when it's Fair Trade, not only because small-scale farmers in remote locations can access credit without resorting to middlemen, but also because the system guarantees them a minimum price, besides linking them with importers. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, a specialist in coffee and coffee makers as well as a major supporter of the Fair Trade initiative, says that in fiscal 2012, Fair Trade coffee accounted for over 50 million pounds, an increase of more than five million pounds in 2011. These figures led Fair Trade USA to rank Green Mountain the largest purchaser of Fair Trade Certified coffee in the world for the second year running in 2011.
The company has released its eighth annual sustainability report, in which it outlines its environmental and social performance for the period. The report focus on three main areas: Resilient Supply Chain,Sustainable Products, and Thriving People and Communities. "Our strategy framework, and the steps we will take in the next year to build it out, will build on our strong tradition of sustainability, create sharper focus on our areas of interest, and position us to deliver more value for our employees, the communities that host our facilities, our business partners, shareholders, and stakeholders all along our value chain," said Michael Dupee, GMCR's vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Parallel to a 46 percent increase in sales in 2012, Green Mountain also improved energy efficiency, recycling rates and a reduction in the amount of waste sent to the landfill. Among the company's achievements, the report lists more than $10 million in grant money to supply-chain communities, high rate (65 percent) of employee volunteering and a 90% rate of employee retention.
Besides Fair Trade, GMCR delivered a 46% increase in net sales in 2012 while also improving energy efficiency, recycling more waste, and reducing the proportion of waste sent to the landfill. Highlights of the fiscal 2012 report include:
The report also highlights the company's goals for fiscal 2013, which include continuing financial support for projects addressing food security in coffee-growing communities, increasing the sourcing of sustainable coffees, and further reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills.
"There's significant value at the intersection of innovation, relationships, and sustainability," said Green Mountain's president and CEO Brian P. Kelley. "Producing this report benchmarks our achievements and provides important transparency into our challenges. We're creating a blueprint that integrates sustainability more deeply into our operations and across our value chain."
Image credit: GMCR