Sydney-based coffee roaster Single O announced it has achieved carbon neutral status as of Earth Day on 22 April 2021.
Single O will relaunch its No Death to Coffee Month initiative as part of a long-term goal to achieve net zero emissions, rallying customers and the wider industry to take part in a range of “missions against emissions” to curb the trend towards a 60 per cent reduction in the world’s Arabica coffee supply by 2050.
“Single O is now carbon neutral, and we’re absolutely stoked with that, but the fact is, our carbon footprint still sucks. Like most businesses, we still have a footprint the size of an army boot”, says Single O General Manager, Mike Brabant.
“Our long-term goal is to achieve net zero status. Not only is that important in the context of a climate emergency, but carbon is threatening coffee and we’re certainly not taking that lightly either. In fact, according to the Climate institute over 60 per cent of Arabica could disappear by 2050 – for us that means war.”
Single O launched a new coffee blend called Stone’s Throw, its Missions against Emissions blend with beans from Sumatra, Papua New Guinea, and Byron Bay in Australia. Stone’s Throw sports 50 per cent fewer shipping emissions than a typical Single O blend, further offsetting delivery from the farm to customers’ doors.
Single O says this is not a declaration to stop shipping from afar, as Single O will continue to work with and support growers in Central America and Africa. Regionally though, quality initiatives are giving rise to more diverse and delicious profiles and this blend was an experiment to see how Single O could impact the emissions through its composition.
Single O’s Surry Hills cafe also introduce a range of plant-based dishes for vegan customers and those looking to experiment with more meat-free meals. An Oxford University report said that a vegan diet is the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce an individual’s carbon footprint, with an average reduction of 73 per cent. Single O will also reduce the price of plant-based milks to match dairy, a 50 cent discount at all Single O cafés, until 14 May.
On Earth Day, Single O partnered with Three Blue Ducks to ban single use cups across their venues for the day – including Three Blue Ducks venues in Melbourne, Nimbo Fork Lodge, The Farm in Byron Bay, Bronte and Rosebery in Sydney. The first 10 customers in each location received a free reusable cup, with Single O also offering extra ceramics – with seconds supplied by Mud Australia, its Loan- A-Mug program, and Standing Bar to help customers enjoy their cup of coffee, sustainably. The initiative inspired an additional 80 cafés to take part, which could remove 10,000 cups from the waste stream in a single day. As a call to arms for the wider industry, 66,900 tonnes of carbon could be saved if Australia’s 20,000 cafés took part for a single year, the equivalent of removing 4549 passenger vehicles from the road, or 2.8 million trash bags of waste recycled instead of landfilled.
“Our ‘missions against emissions’ have been created as a call to arms for ourselves, our customers and the wider industry to think about the journey our morning coffee goes on before it reaches our cup,” Mike says.
“We make subconscious decisions every day beyond just ‘extra hot, one sugar’ that are all important in the context of a climate emergency, and these ‘missions against emissions’ are really about getting us to approach those choices consciously.”