Sustainability Is Off to a Great START


In the last few weeks we’ve been talking a lot about sustainability in the coffee industry. We can all agree that greening the coffee world is something that would benefit everyone in the long run, producers, retailers, and consumers alike. As part three in our sustainability series, we’d like to tell you a little bit more about what we as a collective industry can do to push the cause of sustainable coffee to the next level.

We at the SCAA, assisted by a task force of dedicated volunteers from the Sustainability Council, have been working to develop a tool that will help companies track their sustainability progress and compile their data into one cohesive body of reference for the industry’s progress as a whole. Enter the Sustainability Tracking and Reporting Tool, or START. By using the information gathered in the START database, we as an industry can better understand our impact on global sustainability initiatives, namely the UN’s 8 Millennium Develoment Goals. All we need now is your participation.

By filling out your company profile, you will be providing invaluable information on things like contributions to local causes, volunteer hours, recycling and reducing waste, energy used from renewal sources, and reduction of carbon emissions. All that information can show that even the smallest steps add up and provide a better picture of what we, as an industry, are doing correctly and what areas we could stand to improve on. In addition to aggregating data into an industry-wide database, START will also compile it into company-specific reports that can be used at the user’s discretion. From a companyperspective, participants stand to gain an effectivetool for presenting their sustainability efforts and enhancing their brand appeal.

In the end, we believe that START will be a very valuable asset to the coffee industry. A database of this magnitude was once only available to the upperechelonof private companies, but we’ve worked to bring START to a wider cross-section of the coffee industry at a very affordable annual rate. It’s important that we are cognizant of our impact on the world, and, now that thistoolis available, we encourage full participation.

If you want to learn more you can explore the START page on the SCAA website. You can also attend the Measuring Our Impact: An Innovative Method to Track lecture at the 2011 SCAA Event which goes hand in hand with the official system launch.