Bonnie Coffee is committed to improving its emissions, promoting sustainable choices to consumers, and preservation for the next generation.
Visiting Bonnie Coffee is a unique experience. Its two coffee shops sit on the ground floor of large heritage-listed buildings in the heart of the Melbourne and Sydney CBDs, combining a classic aesthetic interior with modern and sophisticated coffee to create a feeling almost like stepping out of time.
“The heritage-listed buildings will be here forever, so it sends the message ‘we’re here to stay’. We do the same thing consistently, day in, day out, and that’s what makes it so great time after time,” says co-owner Lloyd Smith.
Bonnie Coffee is committed to preserving more than just its historical façade. Sustainability is at the heart of the business and everything it does, from responsibly sourcing coffee for its Mumma’s Boy Blend to receiving carbon neutral certification from Climate Active.
“Bonnie Coffee is named after my mother, and the business lives by the lessons she taught me. The first one of these is to do one thing and do it properly. That means we need to be the best at what we can be, and make the best choices for ourselves, our businesses, and our customers,” Lloyd says.
“She also instilled in me a respect for our people, our land, and our planet. We have an obligation to take care of our planet for future generations – this means stopping the intense carbon emitting activities that are contributing to global warming.”
To receive this certification, Bonnie Coffee first had to carry out a carbon audit to determine its exact emissions. Climate Active measured everything from staff transport, to energy consumption, to emissions from input products – like coffee and other supplies – and equipment used.
“This audit highlights where all your emissions are actually coming from, which educates you to make better, lower impact choices. For example, we were able to recognise that if we perform a couple of small fixes, it will drastically reduce our energy usage,” Lloyd says.
“We switched to green energy, made sure the fridges were well sealed, and put in an airlock over the front door that traps in hot or cool air, so the air conditioner isn’t working as hard.”
For emissions that can’t be reduced, Bonnie Coffee purchases carbon credits to support the Bundled Renewable Wind Power Project of Pangolin Associates in the Rajasthan region of India.
“India is a huge contributor to carbon emissions but it’s also a country less fortunate than ours. Supporting and investing in this program provides an opportunity to reduce these emissions,” Lloyd says.
Another way Bonnie Coffee embraces sustainability is encouraging customers to think about how their individual choices will impact their own environmental footprint.
Lloyd says the café’s promotion of lower-emission dairy alternatives for milk-based coffees has resonated with customers, with roughly half of its coffees now served with plant-based milk.
“Livestock farming, including the production of dairy milk, contributes 21 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Shifting to a predominantly plant-based diet is a key part of the climate solution,” he says.
“We, the hospitality industry, must take a leadership role in driving change and consumer behaviour.”
Bonnie Coffee will progress its sustainability journey by continuing to promote plant-based products, sourcing more environmentally friendly supplies like cups and lids, and further reducing its emissions.
“We need to act responsibly, find the solution, and be a part of it, not add to the problem,” Lloyd says. “We can’t rely on governments to do it for us, it needs to be a movement from the ground up. Every business or product has some sort of carbon emission and offsetting that is a great start.”
For more information, visit www.bonnie.coffee