One Percent for the Planet: should coffee roasters sign up?

Aidan Gant
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May 17, 2022
1% for the Planet: Should coffee roasters sign up?

An increasing number of coffee origins are already feeling the effects of the growing climate crisis. 

With global temperatures steadily rising, the area of land suitable for coffee cultivation is predicted to halve by 2050.

Despite this, it is estimated that only 3% of annual charitable donations are given to environmental and animal charities. This is behind religious organisations who top the list with 28% of philanthropic donations. 

It is clear more funding is needed to support environmental projects. For roasters, one of the best options is to partner with organisations such as 1% for the Planet.

1% for the Planet is an international organisation that encourages businesses to donate 1% of sales to environmental groups.

Since launching in 2002, it has provided a way for roasters and cafe owners to ensure they are doing their part to prevent climate change. Furthermore, by sharing this collaboration with customers, businesses can receive additional support to maximise their impact. 

Read on to learn more about 1% for the Planet and why roasters should sign up. 

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What is One Percent for the Planet?

1% for the Planet was established in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard and Craig Matthews to challenge the business community to do more to support environmental charities. 

Essentially, it is an association that comprises businesses and individuals who have committed to protecting the environment. 

The team guarantees that signatory businesses contribute a minimum of 1% of their revenue to their choice of charities. To date, members have donated over $280 million to their approved nonprofit partners.

1% for the Planet is not a charity itself: it is a third-party accreditation scheme that certifies charitable donations. Furthermore, the organisation establishes direct partnerships between donor businesses and charities that tackle aspects of climate change. 

Additionally, the organisation monitors the performance and impact of these nonprofit beneficiaries, and verifies the donations of contributing businesses.

An advantage of signing up is that supporters can choose to donate to a charity that aligns with their business ethos. 

More so, businesses get the added benefit of falling under a well-known umbrella accreditation. In the US, 28% of all consumers recognise the 1% for the Planet logo. Therefore, by partnering with the organisation, coffee businesses can further highlight their commitment to sustainability. 

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Why are coffee businesses signing up?

Notably, 1% for the Planet has proved popular among coffee businesses, with an increasing number of roasters signing up. 

These include Crankhouse Coffee, Rave, Caravan Coffee, Modern Standard Coffee, and Grounds for Change in the UK. In the US, the growing list of contributors includes Madcap Coffee and Tandem Coffee. 

The affiliated nonprofit charities deal specifically with agricultural problems arising from climate change, as well as other issues that affect coffee-producing nations.

Through 1% for the Planet, roasters can support nonprofits such as Project Waterfall – the charity of choice for much of the coffee industry. This charity aims to end water poverty in coffee-growing areas. 

Additionally, they can choose to invest in coffee agricultural research and development through World Coffee Research or Educate2Envision, an organisation that supports and educates youths in coffee-producing countries. 

Donating to projects that work with low-income nations across the coffee belt is an effective way to give back to those who cultivate coffee. Moreover, it helps ensure the future of the industry by encouraging businesses to develop ways to combat climate change.

The team at 1% for the Planet negotiates donations with their affiliated organisation on behalf of the roaster. Thanks to years of philanthropic work, they can advise on effective strategies and help form lasting partnerships.

Consequently, having the 1% for the Planet logo on coffee bags can show customers that roasters care about the well-being of coffee-producing communities, as well as the environment. 

This is particularly important, as one in three consumers claim to have stopped buying from certain brands due to concerns about ethical and sustainable practices. 

Coffee roasters can add the one percent for the Planet logo on kraft paper coffee bags and other sustainable coffee packaging.

Is One Percent for the Planet the best option for coffee roasters?

The growing recognition behind 1% for the Planet can provide a boost for roasters wanting to showcase their ethical credentials. Additionally, it is an ecolabel that customers will know and support.

The flexibility of this support model also appeals to several businesses, as it allows them to support a niche project that reflects their company ethos.

Through 1% for the Planet, coffee owners and roasters can support initiatives such as Root Capital. This organisation helps strengthen coffee communities by creating a fair and diverse working environment. Furthermore, they implement climate-friendly practices that may echo further down the value chain.

Alternatives to 1% for the Planet may also be worth considering. For instance, B Corp Certification is one of the best known corporate responsibility programmes. Much like 1% for the Planet, it is geared towards transparency and putting communities ahead of shareholders. 

Another option for roasters could be the Just programme from the International Living Future Institute. Similar to the other certifications, the Just programme has a stronger focus on social justice. 

Multiple unbleached kraft paper coffee bags on wooden shelf in coffee store

Working towards a more sustainable future for the coffee industry has been one of the main goals for many businesses in the sector in recent years. By partnering with 1% for the Planet, roasters and cafe owners can demonstrate their good intentions to customers, and possibly gain their support. 

Whatever certification you choose, at MTPak Coffee our primary mission is to help you achieve your sustainability goals. 

We offer a range of certified-sustainable packaging options that include biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable coffee bags such as kraft paper, rice paper, PLA and LDPE.

From biodegradable and recyclable pouches to fully compostable cups, our team can help you create the perfect sustainable coffee packaging for your brand that will help showcase the quality of your coffee, as well as your commitment to the environment.

Furthermore, our insightful Education Centre is full of information about the issues surrounding sustainability and ethical business practices. 

For more information on sustainable coffee packaging, contact our team

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One Percent for the Planet: should coffee roasters sign up?

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