Inspiring Coffee Professionals to act on Sustainability

Inspiring Coffee Professionals to act on Sustainability

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SOURCE Credit 360

CAMBRIDGE, England, February 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

The Speciality Coffee Association of America (SCAA) was formed in 1982 by a small group of coffee professionals keen to set quality standards for the specialty coffee trade and create an official forum for discussing common challenges. The association is now the world's largest trade association of its kind, with more than 4,000 business members, both in the US and internationally. SCAA and its members take an active stance on sustainability, and created their own Sustainability Council in 2003 to develop training programmes and best practice guides on managing coffee businesses in a way that respects the environment while delivering cost savings.

Determined to help the speciality coffee sector become more environmentally sustainable, the SCAA decided to invest in a data management solution that would help both the organisation and its members to measure their environmental footprint and identify opportunities to reduce their impacts. The solution would need to allow members throughout the coffee supply chain - from farmers to retailers - to record the data most relevant to their business. Ease of use would also be fundamental in the drive to encourage members to participate and start monitoring their impacts.

The SCAA opted for CRedit360's award-winning sustainability software solution, following a detailed investigation of the options available and on the recommendation of corporate SCAA members such as Starbucks. The CRedit360 team created a series of specific questions for six different user types, including farmers, producers, roasters, retailers and baristas. This allows each user, whether they're growing coffee trees or serving in a café, to report on the precise environmental indicators that relate to their business. Their overall carbon footprint is then calculated automatically by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) accredited system.

The SCAA integrates the CRedit360 solution into its sustainability activities by offering members complimentary access to the system if they complete a step-by-step programme designed to help them green their businesses. In this way, small to medium-sized members benefit from access to a sustainability performance solution they wouldn't otherwise have been able to afford.

In the future, the SCAA plans to create a 'state of the industry report', drawing on the sustainability data collated by its members. This would include both environmental and social performance. It also plans to monitor the sustainability performance of its own events.

"Expanding access to technology such as sustainability software allows more companies to measure their environmental impacts. We're delighted to be able to offer all our members the opportunity to use the CRedit360 system. It's an integral part of the SCAA sustainability toolkit." Mansi Chokshi Specialty Coffee Association of America

Key benefits

Scalability - The SCAA adopts a straightforward and engaging approach to encouraging members to collect sustainability data. Using the CRedit360 system, members can begin by logging a small amount of data, and gradually scale their data monitoring as they become more familiar with the system.

Cost savings - Members are actively identifying cost savings (from increased energy efficiency to reduced water consumption) by using the system to identify areas for improvement.

Members demonstrate responsibility - By demonstrating to corporate customers, who are increasingly requesting that suppliers meet tough sustainability criteria, that they're using accurate sustainability data to drive positive changes, members are winning more contracts. They can also draw attention to their improved environmental credentials via their marketing activities.

Attracting and retaining members - The SCAA's approach to sustainability, including its focus on tracking environmental data, helps to attract new members. It's also the main reason why two thirds of members renew their membership, a recent survey revealed. As the SCAA establishes a leadership position in the tracking of environmental and social data within the specialty coffee sector, the CRedit360 system will continue to be a valuable tool for attracting and engaging members.

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