Coffee is grown in and around the tropical rainforests of Africa, Asia and the Americas. Two globally recognised environmental needs are to protect these tropical rainforests and to reduce carbon emissions in every human activity. The concept as an equation is simple.
Timeline: 2022-2024 (30 months)
Partner orgs: University of Brighton, The Knowledge Transfer Partnership
At the end of 2022 we successfully completed the first year of the KTP project with a pilot study in Peru. We conducted a literature review of scientific methods for measuring emissions on coffee farms and assessed current carbon accounting models on the market. Based on our findings, we designed a survey to gather information on items that could produce or sequester emissions, and in October 2022 surveyed a subset of coffee farms, taking ecological field measurements. From the data collected, we created a draft model for calculating emissions. A second field season in Jaen, Peru will take a place in March 2023 to gather more data to ensure the accuracy of the emissions model.
Coffee is grown in and around the tropical rainforests of Africa, Asia and the Americas. Two globally recognised environmental needs are to protect these tropical rainforests, and to reduce carbon emissions in every human activity. The concept as an equation is simple.
But the reality we face is that coffee production contributes to harmful CO2 emissions, and this will worsen through the increase in global demand and the effects of climate change. We believe that the coffee industry has the potential to drive enormous socio-economic change and harness environmental stewardship across a geo-political landscape that is both home to vulnerable communities and fragile ecosystems.
During the academic year of 2020-21 we conducted a study on in-house carbon accounting with the assistance of students from the University of Brighton. Through market research to define the mitigation category actions, we discovered that there is very little in the way of credible tools for coffee businesses to use for carbon measurement and mitigation in coffee supply chains.
We realised that to truly determine our impact we must be able to calculate the carbon footprint of a single coffee tree through its life cycle. By the end of 2021, there was no accurate methodology that existed for doing this.
The expertise of the student project activity within Brighton Business School raised awareness within Falcon for the potential of an academic-business partnership to address our most pressing challenge and potentially most transformational opportunity. It emerged that the KTP model was the ideal approach for developing methodologies to measure the carbon generated in coffee production and recommending the techniques for mitigating emissions because it needs to be addressed within the company, with the help of engaged partners throughout the supply chain. We recognised that this undertaking needs knowledge that does not reside in our company alone. It needs an experimental approach that incorporates academic knowledge and rigour with our own deep sector knowledge.
In the summer of 2021, we were awarded a grant through the government body Innovate UK, enabling us to execute this project with the collaboration of a cohort of academics from the University of Brighton. The project is due to commence at the beginning 2022.
By discovering the best practices for carbon insetting and mitigation within our supply chain, we will develop the replicable and scalable methodologies to measure the carbon generated in coffee production from farmer to roaster and provide an environmentally impactful solution to the needs of our business community.
It is difficult to downplay the global magnitude of creating this methodology and the potential solutions.
We aim to fulfil the opportunity to become a strategic supply chain partner who can enable our customers to achieve and evidence Net Zero targets. Ultimately, successfully executing this project will enable us to make the transition from ethical green supplier to key strategic partner, strengthening our value position and securing its place in our supply chains.show less