Sustainability is taking on a new meaning during our generation. The state of our global climate due to rising carbon emissions has had a major push this year thanks to the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report (IPCC SR15) in October 2018. This is where you have likely heard the headline, “Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.” The urgency for a shift in how we think about sustainability and our carbon footprint is clear now more than ever.
According to the World Health Organization, 12.6 million people die annually due to environmental health risks and environmental factors. While this spans across the globe, in truth, the people most affected by this are those within developing countries, like coffee-producing countries. These developing nations are the most at risk for polluted air, water, and soil, climate change, and chemical exposures, which contribute to over 100 disease and injury categories. It’s predicted that this could worsen with increasing greenhouse emissions through human activity, which is primarily caused by the most developed countries, including the United States.
With 2020 right around the corner the need for action is only growing stronger, not just for businesses, but for individuals too. We know this can seem pretty daunting and confusing at times. The good news is, with more people gravitating towards carbon neutral companies, they are in effect causing vast changes in businesses’ environmental behaviors.
A Cultural Revolution Towards Sustainability & Environmental Stewardship
According to a Nielson survey, “81% of global respondents feel strongly that companies should help improve the environment.” There is a cultural shift happening that is moving towards consuming more consciously and sustainably. More people and businesses are evaluating their impact and striving towards becoming carbon neutral companies. And with good reason. Because our day-to-day choices both as individuals and business owners can directly affect our global and local communities.
This is one of many reasons why at Amavida we joined the community of Certified B Corp companies, and why we strive to be stewards for the environment. To do our part, we are taking steps to reduce our overall emissions, investing in carbon offsets, partnering with sustainable suppliers, and sourcing from organic coffee cooperatives
Our impact, both environmental and social, serves as our primary measure and definition of our success as a company. For us it’s not enough to just say we care about these issues, we want to make a direct positive impact on the communities we work with and our own. In September, we announced that we were 100% carbon neutral. Of course, this change didn’t happen overnight. We had to first educate ourselves on our carbon output and then take action to offset it.
Partnering with Taking Root allows us to invest in carbon offsets through their CommuniTree reforestation program. The reforestation of native trees directly impacts the livelihoods of farming and agricultural communities in Nicaragua. Taking Root’s program is tackling poverty and climate change simultaneously. By purchasing carbon credits in the form of trees, we offset our carbon emissions.
Another way we invest in the coffee communities we work with is by purchasing organic, fair-trade coffee. Our approach to business is the same as our approach to life, to be friendly and fair. “Coffee is a vital influence in the lives of the people and cultures we represent and serve,” explains our Program Manager Jennifer Pawlik. By collaborating with Cooperative Coffees we know the small coffee farmers we work with are treated with respect and paid fairly.
As a B Corp coffee business, we recognize that our position in the community should be used to inspire other like-minded businesses and individuals, continue to find innovative ways to better our own sustainability practices, and participate in projects that make a real difference in our local community for a better future.
The COP25 and Carbon Neutral Companies’ Commitment to a Better Future
In an effort to influence real change, the UN held the COP25 in Madrid, Spain at the beginning of this month. A total of 533 B Corp companies pledged to commit to Net Zero emissions by 2030. A rigorous goal, compared to the set 2050 targets of the Paris Agreement. But what exactly does it mean to be Net Zero?
To reach a goal of Net Zero means to achieve a balance in greenhouse gas emissions. Companies can achieve Net Zero emissions by tracking and reducing their overall emissions and to remove the remainder of greenhouse gases they emit through carbon removal processes. The idea is, that companies who invest in carbon removal by investing in reforestation projects, similar to an organization like Taking Root, or direct air capture and storage, can hit Net Zero emissions.
Here at Amavida, committing to a more sustainable future is a part of our mission and continual goal as a business. That is why we are excited to announce that we are committing to Net Zero emissions within the next 10 years along with the other 532 B Corp companies.
Change starts with action. When a business commits to be a part of the solution, and not the problem, they make a direct impact on their own community and the global community. Taking action is to stand up for our climate and for those who are at risk of the immediate effects of climate change. That is why we are carbon neutral and are committed to helping our community get there by 2030. It is important for us to be a part of the solution and continuously look for new opportunities to support and inspire our community through various partnerships and teaching our locals about sustainability and environmental stewardship. All while serving you ethical coffee, which serves as a conversation starter on why this all matters.
There’s no time better than now to take action. We talked a lot about the importance of reducing carbon emissions and how businesses need to do better. So we would like to leave you with real, attainable ways that you can create change as an individual.
How You Can Make An Impact in 2020
This time of year is a time when people reflect and set new goals for themselves. We invite you to challenge yourself in 2020. Challenge yourself to think about how you can be more sustainable in your everyday life.
We know the issue of climate change can seem too big for us individuals to handle, but you are not alone. It’s important for individuals to regularly reflect on their own actions and begin to see where they can make more conscious choices to positively impact the environment.
It is all about progress. You can make a substantial impact by being aware of your buying habits. Rather than purchasing from a large retailer, you can support a local business. Community service is another great way to show your support. You can volunteer for local organizations that are committed to protecting the environment. We love knowing that there are some great people right in our backyard in Seaside, FL striving towards a sustainable future as well.
Showing your support to carbon neutral businesses, b corp companies or organizations that take their environmental impact seriously can truly make a big difference. We are incredibly grateful for the love and support we receive from our community every day! Each time you choose fair trade, organic coffee you are making a difference in the lives of coffee producers and our environment. And we thank you for that!
It’s amazing how many ways you can make a positive impact. It’s true that each and every one of us has the power to become a part of the solution. Here’s to a more sustainable and environmentally focused new year. We look forward to hearing what actions you will take in 2020.
Article contributed by Brianna Fox-Priest. Get to know more of her work at the Socialista Podcast or on Instagram @bysocialista