Next in our series profiling six of the world’s B Corp certified coffee businesses, we speak with Klaus Thomsen, Co-Founder of Denmark’s influential specialty roaster and coffee shop, Coffee Collective, about the importance of social initiatives closer to home as well as at origin
Klaus Thomsen, Co-Founder of Denmark's specialty roaster and coffee shop, Coffee Collective | Image credit: Coffee Collective
Specialty coffee roaster and coffee shop: Denmark
First B Corp certified: 2019
Current B Corp score: 83.3
Our company ethos has always been to bring more value to farmers and to promote transparency in the coffee industry. We felt a real resonance with the B Corp
mindset and going through the audit felt like a natural progression for the company.
B Corp provides a 360-degree view of an organisation. It is a way of thinking about the impact on all stakeholders – from coffee farmers, the pickers, to the transportation network, and end-consumers.
We have always considered our impact on communities at origin, but B Corp has encouraged us to focus on social aspects closer to home too. For example, we introduced a union agreement for our baristas and created a cycling club community to promote employee wellbeing.
"The western world has too long benefitted from the exports of producing countries"
We also shifted our pension plan to a provider that only invests in sustainable projects and we always seek to use more environmentally friendly cleaning supplies. Another big project we’ve undertaken is writing a code of conduct for all our suppliers, from our farmers to our cup suppliers.
Perhaps our most challenging project is Coffee Collective’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2022, for which we are also including carbon emissions at origin. We will maintain a positive dialogue with farmers about how they can reduce their carbon footprint, but we feel the western world has far too long benefitted from the exports of producing countries. It should be our responsibility to take on that burden, rather than place the onus on farmers.
B Corp is not an aid programme or charity organisation, it is a way of thinking that encourages business to take more responsibility towards the planet instead of concentrating mainly on profit. On a personal and company level there is a feeling of being a part of a movement with other like-minded businesses, even those providing very different services from your own, united with a common purpose.
This article was first published in Issue 5 of 5THWAVE magazine.
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