Over the last few decades, we’ve seen a definite shift among Canadians; there is a growing concern for the environment and a common desire to care for the planet. It’s no secret climate change poses a significant risk to the coffee industry, as changing weather patterns have drastically impacted farmers and their crops. 

As a result, there’s a renewed interest in consuming environmentally friendly products. So on this Earth Day, we’d like to take this opportunity to talk about our sustainability initiatives. We’ll also discuss our commitment to being good stewards of the environment by finding ways to help protect, restore and replenish the Earth’s valuable assets.

Making a difference starts at the source

While our coffee is roasted and packaged in Montreal, all of our coffee beans are sourced from from South and Central America. Each year, members of our team get the opportunity to travel to these regions to discover how our coffee is cultivated. 

It’s an eye-opening experience that reinforces our engagement with the various communities in which we operate. Keurig Dr Pepper Canada has been actively supporting these communities through various initiatives that support the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices and water-resilient techniques, among other things. These projects improve the resilience of farming communities to climate change and help improve their livelihoods. 

One concrete example of such an improved technique that we support is the use of microorganisms to ward off coffee leaf rust, a type of fungus that can wreak havoc on coffee plantations. We provide resources and education so farmers can put it into practice and sustainably increase their harvest yields, which has a trickle-down economic effect on their families and surrounding communities. 

Water scarcity is also an issue for many individuals in the coffee industry. Did you know that producing one single cup of coffee requires approximately 132 litres of water? This is why we’ve helped coffee-growing communities learn how to apply sustainable water resource management practices, which can have a transformative impact on both their livelihoods and the environment. 

Smarter choices for a circular economy

Switching gears and looking at our sustainability efforts at home, we’re incredibly proud that our entire lineup of K-Cup® pods are recyclable in Canada. At the end of 2018, we completed the transition to polypropylene or plastic #5, a material accepted in most Canadian municipal recycling programs. 

Before 2018, our products were made from plastic #7, a multi-layered plastic that was not suitable for recycling. Therefore, in a bid to transform the business, we partnered with key stakeholders in the recycling industry to help drive the company towards a more sustainable future. This was a rare occasion, as our company had the opportunity to work in tandem with sustainability experts to design a tailored solution. To learn more about this process, check out the video below

The future of coffee consumption 

More than 35,000 cups of coffee are consumed each second around the world, demonstrating how consumers love this product. We’re moving into an era where coffee beverages are omnipresent and readily available, whether it’s at the office, on your morning commute, or in the comfort of your home. 

But what’s a sustainable way to consume a caffeinated beverage? According to a recent report by the French-language show L’Épicerie, standard drip coffee machines often lead to coffee and energy waste, while single-use pods ensure the right amount of water, coffee, and electricity is used. Several recent reports cited by the program also indicate that the environmental cost of these pods is not as high as commonly believed, especially if they are recycled. 

So as Canadians continue to pursue environmentally friendly options in their everyday lives, our company is proud to be able to participate in this journey in collectively helping the planet. For more information on our initiatives, please visit our sustainability page at Keurig.ca