Oughtred Coffee and Tea Wins EcoStar Award
Oct 09, 2012
(News Release) VICTORIA - Oughtred Coffee and Tea (Oughtred) is exemplifying the business case for sustainability. Recent recipient of the 2012 EcoStar Award in the category of Climate Action, Oughtred is not only making internal changes to reduce its carbon footprint, but encouraging other organizations to jump on the sustainability bandwagon. Oughtred won this renowned award because of its comprehensive Carbon Reduction Program (CRP) that measures emissions, targets effective reduction strategies, and offsets what it cannot reduce. As JP Oughtred (Owner) explains, "Our company shifted gears in 2009 when we set the goal of becoming carbon neutral. What seemed like a lofty target has now become core to how we operate."
The impact of the coffee industry is emissions intensive by nature. Oughtred decided to tighten its environmental practices and develop an in-house Carbon Reduction Program (CRP). After a series of environmental audits and green strategy planning with a local environmental consulting firm, Oughtred initiated various programs to reduce its impact. Among these green actions included developing a heat recapture technology at the roastery, drastically shortening green bean shipping routes, and a fuel-efficient delivery fleet. The results of Oughtred’s Carbon Reduction Program speak for themselves: a 26 per cent reduction in carbon emissions, a 15 per cent decrease in electricity consumption, a 66 per cent reduction in propane, a 55 per cent reduction in paper use, and a waste diversion rate of 90 per cent. Furthermore, Oughtred was one of the first companies in BC to go carbon neutral, investing in BC based clean energy projects such as ground source heat pumps for elementary schools and a biomass boiler for a greenhouse company. Will Wright, Co-Founder for Ecocentric Carbon Management, has been measuring and reporting Oughtred’s carbon emissions for three years. “After working in this industry for over five years, I can attest that it is rare for a business of Oughtred’s size to report on its GHG emissions and offset its carbon. The company has seen an absolute drop in carbon emissions while increasing revenue and the amount of coffee roasted each year, which is an outstanding result. Oughtred is certainly in the top 10 per cent of small businesses in terms of effective carbon management,” explains Will Wright.
Oughtred released a 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Report as benchmarking tool to inspire other businesses. “Our industry needs leaders, like Oughtred, to push things forward and act as a blue-print for other businesses,” says Steve Hof, owner and operator of Sauce Restaurant and Lounge. This homegrown business is definitely a green economy catalyst on Vancouver Island, making the fight against climate change personal. “Going green makes sense for business, it is just a matter of committing to change,” states JP Oughtred.