We’re committed to finding ways of decoupling the growth of our business from our environmental impacts. We strive to use resources efficiently in our operations and reduce our environmental impacts by focusing on energy use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and waste diversion. Water is another critical resource and one with significant impacts in our value chain. However, because coffee roasting is a relatively dry process, we are not a heavy user of water in our facilities.
We conducted corporate water and GHG footprints to help us identify the areas where we can make the biggest improvements in our value chain. Though the analyses confirm that our current operations represent a relatively small portion of our overall GHG and water footprints (4.3% of our GHG footprint and less than 1% of our blue water footprint), we continue to make improvements so we can operate as efficiently as possible.
Over the past several years, we have implemented a variety of changes in our operations in our quest to boost energy efficiency and the proportion of waste that can be diverted from landfill through composting, reuse, waste-to-energy, and recycling options. For full details on our work to address environmental impacts, see our most recent Sustainability Report.
2020 target Achieve zero waste-to-landfill at our owned and operated manufacturing and distribution facilities.
Fiscal 2016 progress
Manufacturing waste diversion rate (up from 88% in 2015).
Management of greenhouse gas emissions
In Canada, Van Houtte Coffee Services Inc. own and operate a fleet of vehicles. One of our priorities is the reduction of transportation-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. To achieve this goal, we implement new initiatives every year:
- The transition to light, less powerful vehicles with better fuel economy;
- Training for our drivers to help them reduce their fuel consumption through more energy-efficient driving methods;
- Installation of GPS devices on all our vehicles to ensure route efficiency and monitor vehicle idling and our employees' driving speed;
- Gradual conversion of our fleet to propane vehicles, allowing a 25% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for each vehicle converted;
- Increasing the use of trains for long-distance shipments, generating 10 times less greenhouse gas emissions than trucks.
Toward 0 Waste to Landfill at Montreal plant
Most of our waste results from coffee roasting and packaging. Because reducing waste has been important to us for many years, our facility already have many programs in place to divert waste from landfills by increasing our recycling, composting and repurposing. Much of this is done through our collaborations with a range of regional partners who help us ensure that the majority of manufacturing byproducts are diverted from landfill.
The waste we divert from landfill disposal includes cardboard boxes, plastic and burlap bags, scrap left over from cutting filters for K-Cup® pods, scrap metal foil from machine turnover and packaging, metal can containers and coffee bean chaff (the outer layer left over after roasting). Montreal plant has a waste committee that evaluates the opportunities of potential waste diversion projects.
In fiscal 2014, Keurig Canada established a partnership with a cement kiln that uses K-Cup® pods rejected during our manufacturing process to power their operations. The K-Cup® pods provide the kiln with an alternative fuel source to coal. The minimal amount of ash that remains from the burning process is incorporated into the cement product so there is zero waste. In 2016, we diverted 495 tons of K-Cup® pod waste through this partnership, and the Montreal site’s diversion rate jumped from 88% to 96%.
As we stretch toward our 2020 target of 0 waste to landfill, we’ll continue to pursue multiple waste reduction efforts and try new diversion strategies.