Our Grinders Coffee business is committed to a sustainable future for the industry, and our recent Coffee 4 Planet Ark trial is an example of how we’re delivering better environmental outcomes for our customers and our consumers.
A 2016 feasibility study conducted by Planet Ark found that almost 2,800 tonnes of spent coffee grounds are sent to landfill each year in Sydney alone. Diverting Sydney’s spent coffee grounds from landfill would save approximately 1,600 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions annually.
Grinders Coffee was among five leading roasters to team up with Planet Ark Environment Foundation on the trial, which aimed to divert spent coffee grounds from landfill and repurpose them into innovative and higher value end use.
The four-month trial began in late October 2018 in Sydney in collaboration with Planet Ark. The participating cafes received dedicated grounds bins, which are collected every week by the program’s recycling contractor Bingo, and repurposed for use in garden compost.
Through the trial, over 13 tonnes of spent coffee grounds were collected and repurposed, that’s the equivalent of over 550,000 coffees saved from landfill. The result was a saving of over 8.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
The trial provided key learnings and process improvements that will support a future program roll out. Having established the feasibility of a collection system, the trial identified that the greatest opportunity to drive future outcomes lies in research and development into higher-value end uses for the grounds.
As a result, Grinders Coffee has now committed further funding for a 12-month research and development program undertaken by industry and Planet Ark to come up with long term solutions for the large volume of coffee waste produced in Australia, including working with the SMaRT Centre at the University of New South Wales to find and develop new end uses for coffee grounds and to trial them in potential manufacturing processes.
You can find out more about how Grinders Coffee is making a difference the environment and coffee-growing communities on the website, www.grinderscoffee.com.au.
Learn more about our sustainability driven initiatives in our 2018 Sustainability Report.
 Cameron, Dr. A. and O’Malley, Dr. S. (2016), Coffee Ground Recovery Program Summary Report, Planet Ark, Available at: https://planetark.org/documents/doc-1397-summary-report-of-feasibility-study-april-2016.pdf