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Home » Industry » Drink Coffee, Regrow Forests: A Business Case and 10K Race

Merchants of Green Coffee reduces CO2e coffee emissions through subscriptions to its new Zero Footprint Coffee program.

Merchants of Green Coffee & Mesoamerican Development Institute (MDI)

The heat is on… For every pound of coffee produced and consumed, more than 100 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions are generated. This is a conservative estimate based on Mesoamerican Development Institute (MDI)’s scientific research and it reveals that this everyday habit we share cannot be sustained without people and our warming planet paying the price.

Zero Footprint Coffee is Merchants of Green Coffee and MDI’s science-backed solution to this problem. For every one-pound bag of Zero Footprint Coffee, more than 100 pounds of CO2e emissions are sequestered in the regenerative forests right beside where the coffee grows.

The fact that the emissions are specifically being sequestered at the location of the coffee farms and not somewhere else is what makes this program intrinsically sustainable and different from all other net zero strategies.

Support for this hybrid coffee/reforestation program is needed immediately, so we’re in a race and this is our business case. There are 20 million Canadian coffee drinkers. If just 10,000 of them subscribe to Zero Footprint Coffee right now, their habit will kickstart a critical coffee reforestation program.

This is a race to reduce coffee emissions — so we can wake up feeling good about our morning cup, knowing our day starts with great coffee and enhances forest restoration in hard-hit, coffee-growing communities.

There are 20 million Canadian coffee drinkers. If just 10,000 of them subscribe to Zero Footprint Coffee right now, their habit will kickstart a critical coffee reforestation program.

Our morning dose of caffeine has a big footprint

Coffee is an everyday example of a heavy human footprint, causing deforestation and thus contributing to climate change.

The math has been done. Hundreds of thousands of acres of forest are lost every year to produce coffee, similar to other agricultural industries. In 2020 the Sustainable Coffee Challenge published that, “Coffee producers will have to triple their production by 2050 to meet demand and 60 percent of the area suitable to grow coffee in 2050 is covered by forest.”

At this rate of increased demand coupled with deforestation, Honduras (home to Central America’s largest forests and where the Zero Footprint Coffee program’s research is based) is on track to lose all remaining forests within the next 30 years.

The COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and human migration compound the issues. Given all of our data, we can extrapolate that no coffee or organization today is having enough impact to prevent a global atmospheric temperature rise past 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050. Gloria Steinem was right when she said, “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”

The good news is that Canadians can immediately start solving this problem by choosing to embrace a coffee with an on-the-ground solution — in other words, by signing up for Zero Footprint Coffee.

Racing toward the forest-restoring coffee dream

Cafe Solar® green beans (a.k.a. the forest-restoring coffee supply) are the heart and soul of this program and every bag of Zero Footprint Coffee sold supports Cafe Solar® in one way or another.

The coffee is grown using a system called Integrated Open Canopy™ (IOC™), an at-source climate mitigation means of producing coffee. Its production involves renewable, solar-energy processing and carbon farming alongside coffee. This makes it more effective than all other net zero strategies.

IOC™ coffee is designed to save and restore high-elevation forests in the Yoro Biological Corridor while producing a valuable product that contributes to the region. Its findings and methodology are endorsed by local municipalities, federal forest agencies, the National Science Foundation, multiple universities, and many conservation organizations.

zero footprint coffee infographic
Zero Footprint Coffee deliveries begin in December 2021. Available through online order only. Scheduled deliveries to your door can have a lower footprint than retail shelves.

(Zero Footprint) Coffee is our common ground

In a divisive world, it’s comforting to have something in common like coffee. Zero Footprint Coffee allows the caring, everyday coffee drinker to independently subscribe and collectively support the reduction of CO2e. The subscription program and race to 10,000 subscribers is our grassroots initiative, engineered from the bottom up by our team of caring people on a mission to address climate change.

Collectively, the first 10,000 subscribers, at a modest two pounds of coffee per month, will sequester 24 million pounds of CO2e emissions and restore 800 acres of forest — not to mention getting access to the “first 10K” swag and the significance that they were among the first coffee drinkers to act on this important issue.

The first 10,000 subscribers also won’t be the last. Making coffee more sustainable will, by nature, require coffee supply chain stakeholders (big and small), governments, and consumers around the world cooperating on this issue, and this is the ultimate goal.

Zero Footprint Coffee subscribers are clearing a path for all coffee supply chain members to get involved and benefit. Plus, they’re putting pressure on finance groups and industry coffee buyers to use their power, act faster, and be accountable for our shared future.

As one of these first 10,000 subscribers, you’ll be a part of the group that leads the way for others to a more sustainable coffee supply chain. With Zero Footprint Coffee, you get great-tasting coffee, while actively fighting deforestation and climate change.

We encourage readers to learn more, including about a recent, much-needed change to the Canadian investment law (45-110) and how it empowers Canadians.

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