Coffee Bean International® Publishes Annual Sustainability Report

First annual report shows definition and calculation of carbon footprint and illustrates benefit of new LEED® Silver certified roasting facility.
Publish Date: 
November 12, 2010

PORTLAND, Or, November 12, 2010. Since 2008, Coffee Bean International has lowered its natural gas consumption by 48%, lowered its waste per coffee pound by 25%, recycled 100% of its recyclable waste, composted almost 50% of its total waste, and repurposed nearly 100,000 burlap coffee bags in innovative land reclamation projects. These results were announced today in the company’s first annual sustainability report. The report is the culmination of an ongoing employee-led initiative called Project S.E.E.D. that started in 2008 to integrate sustainability into all facets of the company’s supply chain, production practices, and employee culture. A full copy of the report is available here.

Sarah Beaubien, the company’s Product Manager and Chair of Project S.E.E.D., summarized two years of carbon footprint calculation:  “In 2009, we moved into our new plant and took full advantage of the technology advantages offered by regenerative thermal oxidizers and new, more efficient Probat Roasters. It was a great year for us with regard to sustainability. And, 2010 was our first opportunity to measure year-over-year progress in our new plant. We refined the internal measurement capabilities that allow to us quickly gauge our progress in the area of waste reduction and the continued effort we need to apply to reducing our energy consumption.”

Given the complexity of coffee’s global journey from small, remote hillside farms in countries thousands of miles away to retail shelves across the country, there are many points along the route where sustainable practices may be upheld. Coffee Bean International’s goal in reporting sustainability is twofold: 1) To present information in a transparent fashion in an effort to establish another reference point for other coffee roasters to emulate, critique, or improve upon; and 2) To begin the process of measuring year-over-year internal improvement in the key areas of social, environmental, and economic development.


Coffee Bean International partnered with the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and Climate Smart, a third-party consultancy, to establish its 2009 carbon footprint baselineand to measure its 2010  year-over-year carbon footprint improvement goals. Environmental impact was measured in three key areas. Scope 1: Direct on-site emissions, Scope 2: Indirect emissions that are a consequence of our facilities activity (such as electricity use), and Scope 3: Indirect emissions from supplier and commuting activity.   

Including the improvements to emission reduction, the company offset 50% of its electricity with the purchase of renewable energy credits from Bonneville Environmental Foundation. In the area of sustainable agriculture, the company reported 8% of all coffee coming from certified organic farms, a 25% year-over-year increase.


The report also presents Coffee Bean International’s work in the area of social responsibility. These initiatives include industry-critical projects focused at coffee’s origin countries, reported as Coffee Stewardship, as well as philanthropic efforts in the local community. In 2010, the company funded the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s sustainability database—helping track development initiatives in coffee growing communities across the globe. The document also reports 8% of all roasted coffee being Fair Trade Certified™ by Fair Trade USA.

Also, 2010 marked the introduction of Coffee Bean International’s direct trade coffee program, Project Direct®. In Project Direct, farmers are paid more for higher-quality beans —a premium above their production costs. In addition to higher farmer wages, the company’s direct trade program includes a $0.05/lb community development fund to assist in specific projects deemed important by the farmers.


Economic initiatives are also reported, including the ground-floor leadership for the Global Coffee Quality Research Initiative, a new industry cooperative launched by the Borlaug Institute of Texas A&M. Additionally, the report calculates the bottom-line benefits of certain sustainability initiatives. For example, the new sustainable purchasing policy saved the company over ten thousand dollars in office paper, corrugated shipping boxes, water, and cleaning materials alone.

About Coffee Bean International, Inc.

Founded in 1972, Coffee Bean International is a visionary coffee company in the heart of the Pacific Northwest. As one of North America’s first roasters of specialty coffee, its unwavering commitment to handcrafted quality and sustainable business practices has earned it respect and a place among the coffee industry’s premier roaster/wholesalers. Coffee Bean International serves more than 2,000 active customers, including many independent specialty coffee retailers and prestigious larger, quality-oriented chains. Coffee Bean International operates out of a LEED® Silver certified roasting facility and invests in partnerships, direct trade and certification programs which support improving coffee quality and coffee growers' lives and communities world-wide.  For more information, visit