It is no secret that in the UK, we’re obsessed with great-tasting coffee. Hence why research has shown that coffee consumption in the country has increased by a staggering 25 million cups. With that increase taking place in the workplace, it is important to remember coffee is one of the most traded commodities in the world so it’s important to consider the sustainability of the coffee we consume from our office coffee machines. In this blog, we’ll take you through 6 ways to reduce your carbon footprint in the workplace and the importance of our current climate crisis.
The climate crisis is a threat to all areas and aspects of human lives, including the coffee we consume due to the sensitivity it has to climate change. It’s even estimated that half of the land used for coffee plantations could disappear by 2050 which would severely impact the quality and price of coffee for coffee drinkers.
Employees and businesses are now expecting their stakeholders to play an active role in reducing their carbon footprint. Businesses are carefully considering the environmental impact of products they purchase for use in the workplace. We will look at ways to reduce our carbon footprint when it comes to coffee consumption in the workplace. With many becoming ethically aware, this has become more important for businesses in attracting the best commercial relationships as well as employees, so the practices below could be the difference in attracting the best talent:
1. Reducing disposable coffee cup usage in the workplace
Research estimates that 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups are disposed of each year in the UK. Employees using porcelain mugs or reusable cups for their coffee will allow them to enjoy their fresh coffee without repeatedly using a single-use cup with every coffee they consume which will also reduce your company’s overall carbon footprint.
According to KeepCup’s Impact Calculator, if your workplace has 20 employees drinking coffee in reusable, sustainable cups you will save around 3.68 kg of carbon dioxide every single week. Which is the equivalent of saving 100 single-use cups or 0.33 kg of plastic – now, that’s brilliant.
2. Power-saving features on office coffee machines
Many commercial coffee machines have a built-in scheduling system. Our experienced operators here at Vending Sense can set a timer to automatically switch into a power-saving mode in quiet times throughout the day. We supply coffee machines with power-saving features so your business can reduce energy consumption. Top coffee machine brands like Franke, Jura and WMF allow users to benefit from power-saving features.
3. Thermoblock coffee machines
Professional Coffee machines without a boiler use less energy as it doesn’t require keeping water constantly up to the desired temperature. Alternatively, bean-to-cup coffee machines such as the Jura JX8 boast a flash heat option, meaning it’s fresh water for every cup, saving time and energy whilst maintaining the quality and taste of the coffee.
4. Provide dairy-free milk options as a healthier, sustainable choice
Recent research found that a quarter of Brits have switched to plant-based milk, such as oat, soy or almond milk. The downward turn in sales of cow’s milk means that for businesses to continue to deliver a first-class coffee experience to their employees, they must listen to the wants and needs of their staff when choosing their office coffee solution.
In response to the rise of dairy-free milk drinkers, some bean-to-cup coffee machines now offer the option of dual milk fridges available in the Franke A600, Franke A800, and the Franke A1000, which means users have the luxury of choosing from two types of milk, including dairy-free or low-fat options. The Franke SB1200 is another versatile coffee machine where staff can benefit from two fully separate FoamMaster™ systems in one machine, all prepared and dispensed free of cross-contamination and residues. This is a great way to create an inclusive workplace environment and cater to all tastes and dietary requirements.
Better yet, plant-based milk also results in generating fewer greenhouse gases, uses less water and requires less land when compared to the production of dairy milk. This results in further lowering your environmental footprint just by making a small switch.
5. Avoid using cleaning chemicals to maintain your commercial coffee machine
For hygiene reasons, it is important that coffee machines with fresh milk need cleaning more often, but some cleaning chemicals are bad for the environment as they contribute to water pollution and take longer to degrade into harmless products. Whilst we do recommend maintaining and cleaning your coffee machine regularly, it’s important to use bio-degradable cleaning products to lower your environmental impact.
Whilst not all coffee machines use harsh industrial cleaning chemicals, some coffee machines recognise the splatter of milk so the coffee machine is flushed after every cup of coffee to remove any residue. The removal of chemicals in cleaning products not only benefits your impact, but also reduces business costs.
6. Reducing the number of deliveries to your workplace
Another recommendation is reducing vehicle movement around the business premises. When meeting with clients we often find that they have multiple suppliers for staff refreshments, increasing the number of vans polluting and using fuel as well as increasing the overall carbon footprint of your business.
The common setup includes multiple suppliers for the following services:
- A supplier for their coffee machine and maintenance
- Delivery of coffee beans and other consumables
- A vending machine provider
- A supplier for the business’ water taps or coolers
- Regular fresh fruit deliveries
- Catering deliveries
Vending Sense reduces all into one single, simple solution to deliver refreshments from catering to coffee all in one. We offer a fully managed vending service that would allow for only one supplier. We also recommend our clients to consider a micro-market that would incorporate the above into a single 360 solution.
Refreshment solutions for your workplace
Vending Sense offers flexible leasing options, maintenance, free upgrades, and fully managed vending services across the UK. Find out more today!