Hand-Roasted Coffee & Sustainability

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In 2019, Union Roasted won the Gold Recycler Award by our recycling partner First Mile, being one of their top 10 recyclers out of 20,000 customers.

Here’s a few things we do towards sustainable operations

All of our coffee chaff (the husks from roasted coffee beans) is recycled to provide bedding for the dairy cattle that produce our barista milk. In 2018 we sent 5,000kg of chaff to the Northiam dairy, who provides our barista milk. All our cartons and shipping packaging are made from recyclable, FSC-certified materials and are printed with vegetable ink. All our print materials are made from recyclable, FSC-certified materials. All of the coffee grounds from our barista training facilities are recycled into bio fuel. All our office waste is separated and recycled; we have a Zero to Landfill policy. We encourage cycling to work for our roastery employees, supported by a Cycle Scheme. Our coffee bags are constructed from Paper/Aluminium/ PET/PE. It is only recyclable in some boroughs due to the mix of materials that need to be separated to be recycled. While we cannot compromise the freshness of the coffee, we are working on a fully recyclable or home compostable solution. Our paper coffee cups are 100% biodegradable and compostable, and recyclable where facilities exist. We acknowledge that use of paper cups is an environmental issue in the industry, and we actively promote the use of multiuse cups to our café customers and home consumers. We offer Union KeepCups and in our roastery we use porcelain cups. Roasting coffee demands energy and creates smoke. We have invested in a Loring roaster in our microroastery, meaning energy consumption can be reduced by up to 80% compared to other roasters because it uses a single burner for both roasting and incinerating the smoke created during roasting. This eliminates the need for a separate afterburner to burn off that smoke. Smoke-free and environment friendly!

We’ve partnered with our neighbour, Cody Dock, working in partnership with our local primary school, Thames21 charity, and Newham local authority to rehabilitate Cody Dock, River Lea and our street, South Crescent.

We’re creating new habitats that support the existing wildlife, bringing about a culture change to make a pleasant walk along the Lea River Park and Cody Wilds.

We believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. We are proud to be a Living Wage employer and part of the Living Wage Foundation.

We’re always working on new ways to lessen our impact on our environment. Check back here soon to see our latest developments.

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