Europe’s largest coffee chain commits to achieving net zero emissions from its directly controlled operations by 2040 and says it will work with its partners to cut carbon across its supply chain
Costa Coffee's UK roastery has been powered by biogas since early 2022 | Photo credit: Costa Coffee
Costa Coffee has announced the acceleration of its ‘carbon transition’ with ambitious new targets. The UK-based coffee chain says it is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions from its company-controlled operations by 2040.
Costa has also set a target to halve emissions per serving of coffee 2030, a goal that has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
SBTi is an internationally recognised partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
In setting the targets, Costa said it had evaluated its entire supply chain from farmers to store operations. It found that 5% of the business’s total emissions were produced through company-owned operations, with the remaining 95% produced when products are grown, produced, transported
, prepared, and consumed through suppliers and partners.
While the 2040 target relates to the 5% of emissions made from Costa’s direct operations
, the chain said it would be working closely with its suppliers, partners, and NGOs such as Rainforest Alliance
, to reduce the 95% of emissions that ‘sit outside of the company’s direct control’.
Part of these efforts will see Costa work with coffee and dairy farmers to lower the carbon footprint of production and with logistics suppliers to find low-carbon fuel alternatives. By 2023, Costa says all key suppliers for its UK and Ireland business will be required to have a carbon management plan.
“We know that reducing our emissions by half per coffee serving and ultimately reaching Net Zero is going to take a lot of collective effort from all of us at Costa Coffee – from our team members and partners to our suppliers and consumers. But we are energised and prepared to work together to make a difference, as we continue to aspire to become the world's most loved coffee brand and uplift the lives of coffee fans around the world,” said Costa Coffee’s Global Brand & Sustainability Director, Deb Caldow.
Costa said the new targets built upon the business’ existing sustainability framework. Since 2017, the coffee chain’s company-owned stores in the UK have been powered by 100% renewable energy. Its UK roastery has also been powered by 100% ‘renewable’ gas, or biogas, since the beginning of 2022.
Tackling food waste is also an important issue, Costa said, with the company working with organisations such as FareShare and Too Good To Go to redistribute leftover food from stores and reduce waste.
Achieving the new sustainability targets across Costa’s sizeable global operation will be no mean feat. The company operates more than 2,700 coffee shops in the UK and Ireland and a further 1,100 stores around the world. Costa is present in 41 countries globally and operates more than 11,000 Costa Express self-serve units in the UK and Ireland and a further 1,100 globally.