The carbon footprint report of our coffee roastery

Bean North Coffee Roasting Co. Ltd. is one of twenty owner-members of Cooperative Coffees, a green coffee importing cooperative committed to supporting and partnering with small-scale coffee farmers and their exporting cooperatives. In 2017, Cooperative Coffees launched the Carbon, Climate and Coffee Initiative, which involves quantifying its carbon footprint and funding carbon reduction initiatives within its supply chain. Cooperative Coffees’ roaster members pay an extra 3 cents per pound to the cost of all green coffee purchases - this money funds the Carbon, Climate and Coffee Initiative. Our producing partners in Latin America, Africa, and Asia have the opportunity to apply for project funding from this Initiative. The focus is on project-work that encourages reforestation, soil regeneration, and experimentation and learning about other “carbon-capture enhancing” practices. Projects that focus on complementary actions that contribute towards greater environmental balance in producer communities are also eligible. Read more about the various projects that received funding in 2017.

This Carbon Footprint report was provided by Taking Root. Bean North Coffee Roasting has been working with this Canadian non-profit since 2012 - we've used their carbon credits to offset our coffee roasting greenhouse gas emissions. Taking Root is a pioneer in leveraging the forest carbon offset industry to promote economic development amongst smallholder farmers in Central America. Its mission is to use reforestation as a tool to mitigate climate change, restore ecosystems and improve livelihoods. This is achieved by encouraging smallholder-farming families to reforest the underutilized parts of their farms using native tree species in exchange for direct payments over time as the trees sequester carbon from the atmosphere. These carbon sequestration services are then marketed and sold in several western countries.

The Carbon Footprint Report

This report assesses Cooperative Coffees’ total carbon footprint for all roaster members and administrative offices along all segments of the coffee value chain for the calendar year 2016. The carbon footprint report includes segments of the supply chain that are not typically considered within the scope of an organization’s boundaries (i.e. scope 3 emissions) such as employees’ commute, the importation of green coffee, and third-party distribution services for the roasted coffee. From an accounting perspective, these emissions would be considered within the boundary of someone else’s carbon footprint. The inclusion of these segments demonstrates Cooperative Coffees’ commitment throughout its supply chain. 

Bean North Coffee Roasting compared to Cooperative Coffees’ average

Bean North’s total carbon footprint was 86.5 tCO2, which is equivalent of the emissions from 18.8 passenger vehicles in a typical year. Our carbon footprint is 1.1 kg (2.43 lbs) of COper pound (0.454 kg) of coffee. When we compare this to Cooperative Coffees' average, we note that our footprint per pound of coffee is above average - the average footprint is 0.66 kg (1.45 lbs) of CO2 per pound. We’re the sole western-Canadian member whereas all other roaster members are located in southeastern Canada and the USA. Due to our location, both inbound and outbound shipping have higher absolute CO2 emissions and explain our above average footprint per pound (more detailed explanations can be found below). Bean North’s total carbon footprint is about 3% of Coop Coffees’ total carbon footprint of 2,690 tCO2 for all roaster members and administrative offices. 

Bean North Coffee Roasting's Carbon Footprint for 2016

Commute substantially below average

This is in large part because staff live substantially closer to the roaster than the average. Overall, CO2 emissions from employees’ daily commute were 3.72 tCO2.

Importation above average

Such emissions are a function of the distance traveled by land from the producer cooperative to the port in the producing country, the distanced traveled by ocean freight from the port in the producing country to the port in the USA, the distance traveled from the receiving port to the coffee warehouses where the coffee is stored in Canada (Toronto), and the energy consumed by the coffee warehouses. We purchase a large amount of coffee from land-locked countries, and those coffees have a larger carbon footprint per pound - something we'll reconsider! Overall, CO2 emissions from the importation of coffee is the greatest contributor to our carbon footprint with 37.93 tCO2. 

Inbound Shipping just above average

This section outlines the emissions related to inbound shipping of green coffee from the warehouse in Toronto to Bean North's roastery. Such emissions are a factor of the distance traveled and the mode of transportation used. Our coffee is transported by train - a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation compared to road-freight - for 65% of the way, a far higher percentage than any other roaster. Overall, CO2 emissions from inbound shipping were 17.31 tCO2.

Energy Use well below average

This section outlines the emissions related to energy used to roast the coffee, and the electricity used to heat and power our roastery. Overall, CO2 emissions from energy use were 8.33 tCO2.

Outbound Shipping above average

This section outlines the emissions related to outbound shipping of roasted coffee from roaster to buyers. This includes third party courier services and company-controlled vehicles for shipping and sales. Bean North ships a large amount of our coffee to wholesalers and individual customers outside the Yukon, which automatically means long distances. Overall, CO2 emissions from energy use were 14.02 tCO2. 

Employee Travel average

This section outlines the emissions related to employee travel to the coffeelands and Cooperative Coffees meetings or conferences. In 2016 we travelled to Honduras to participate in a the Diplomados de Agricultura Orgánica at COMSA. We also travelled within North America to attend various Cooperative Coffees meetings. Overall, CO2 emissions from employee travel were 5 tCO2.


*with files from Taking Root & Cooperative Coffees


  • Bean North Coffee Roasting

    Hi Julie,

    Our carbon footprint report includes CO2 emissions for multiple segments of the supply chain. The total footprint is based on all segments and it’s a comprehensive process with complicated calculations.

    You are correct that importation (from producer co-op to our warehouse in Toronto) from Central and South American countries have lower emissions than importation from African countries or Asia. Of course, the CO2 emissions for inbound shipping, energy use, and outbound shipping are the same for all coffee beans, regardless of the country of origin.

    The Bean Team

  • Bean North Coffee Roasting

    Thanks Cameron! We’re glad to hear you found the information helpful. Cheers, The Bean Team

  • Julie Frisch

    Just saw this info on your carbon footprint today.
    I have been only buying coffee from Central or South America thinking they would have a smaller footprint because of distance the beans travel.
    Is this the case or is it more complicated?
    Thanks for all you do for us.

  • Cameron Glegg

    This is incredibly helpful!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to audit your impact. This will make me seriously consider purchasing your product.

    Thank you again!

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