Highlights from ethical ratings of coffee brands
An absence of good environmental policies
Whether it’s instant, ground or whole, the coffee you buy will have had to go through a long journey to get from the farm where the coffee was cultivated to the shelf where it will be bought and then prepared at home. Unfortunately, approaches to manage the environmental impacts of the coffee supply chain are generally still poor and haven't changed much since the last coffee guide in 2018.
Companies which received the best rating for Environmental Reporting were Bird & Wild, Cafe Libertad, Cafeology, Revolver, and Source Climate Change, with all five small companies seen as offering environmental alternatives to the mainstream coffee market.
Some companies only sold certified organic coffee: Bird & Wild, Equal Exchange, Source Climate Change, and Suma. These companies received product sustainability marks for this.
For failing to adequately discuss environmental impacts or to have future quantified targets, the following companies scored worst in this category: Equal Exchange, Grumpy Mule, Cafédirect, Orang Utan, Lyons, Whittard, Illy, Carte Noir, Costa, Cafe Nero, Lavazza, Suma, Taylors of Harrogate, and Twinings.
Nescafé, Nespresso, Illy, Carte Noir and Lavazza all sold coffee machines and were marked down for lack of policies on common pollution and toxics issues in electronics supply chains. Additionally, Whittard, Orang Utan, and Lyons lost marks as their parent companies owned subsidiaries which sold electronics without these policies too.