Companies are getting very creative with their carbon-neutral strategies. To achieve net-zero carbon emissions, there are usually two options: cut your emissions or invest in something to offset them.
Peet’s Coffee is proposing the latter to subscribers of its carbon-neutral series monthly coffee delivery. If you’d like to plant three carbon dioxide-absorbing mangrove supertrees in Myanmar’s ecoregion of Southeast Asia, just sign up for a two-pound monthly Peet’s Coffee delivery. Over a year, you could sponsor the planting of thirty-six trees. You can even track their location with exact coordinates and watch them grow with Google Maps.
Statistically speaking, to offset your annual carbon dioxide emission, you need to plant thirty trees that will grow and thrive over twenty years. So, with your yearly subscription, you’ll largely cover your carbon footprint plus some extra for that year. While this calculation focuses on carbon dioxide and doesn’t account for a person’s total greenhouse gas emissions, this still offsets a big chunk, by an order of 80 percent, states Peet’s Coffee website.
The subscription includes twelve high-quality coffee varieties, including Single Origin, Signature Blend, and limited-time coffee blends. Some of the varieties are only available through the program, which costs $38 a month for two pounds of freshly roasted coffee, rotated on a monthly basis.
To put this program in place, Peet’s Coffee has partnered with Enveritas, a global nonprofit organization that strives to end global poverty in the coffee sector by 2030. While the mangroves are planted by the Worldview International Foundation (WIF), Enveritas monitors the process and reports on the growth of the trees.
“We’re proud to debut our Carbon Neutral Series as a step towards Peet’s incorporating more sustainable practices in regard to carbon neutrality across our business, furthering our commitment to source the highest quality coffee for our customers in a way that respects the environment,” said Tiffin Groff, VP/GM of E-Commerce at Peet’s Coffee. “We’re excited to take this step to better our planet by sponsoring carbon dioxide-absorbing mangrove trees while providing consumers with the sustainable coffee that they’ve come to expect from Peet’s.”
This is of course not the only sustainability effort by Peet’s. In 2016, the company launched its Coffee Verification Program in partnership with Enveritas as a cornerstone of its responsible coffee sourcing initiative. Its mission is twofold: to evaluate farmers on key environmental, social, and economic standards, and to make sustainability improvements based on that information.
“The majority of smallholder coffee farmers lack access to high-value markets for sustainable coffee,” states Enveritas on its website. “They are excluded not necessarily because their practices fall short of sustainability standards, but because the economics of verifying their activities are more challenging.”
As a result, Enveritas’ mission is “to help all coffee farmers participate in a globally sustainable coffee industry.” The nonprofit specifically focuses on unorganized smallholders.
It provides coffee producers with free verification of their sustainability procedures by collecting data, sharing insights, interpreting sustainability results within a local context, and promoting honest conversations among producers, buyers, and other members of the supply chain.
The carbon-neutral coffee is its latest project in Southeast Asia. It is focusing on the extensive root system of the mangroves, which helps sequester three to five times more carbon dioxide than the traditional rainforests. Among the most carbon-dense ecosystems in the world, mangrove forests play a key role in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In addition, they also help with coastal erosion and create a nutrient-rich environment for marine life.