Carbon footprint

An important part of the first pillar, energy, is the calculation of our carbon footprint. 

Ecofys, a Dutch sustainable energy consultancy firm, conducted an interesting study on this topic. It found that the carbon footprint of coffee can be divided as follows:

  • 14% is attributable to the plantation,
  • 6% is due to transportation,
  • 12% is due to the production process,
  •  and as much as 68% is attributable to the consumer.

Beyers wants to take responsibility too. That is why we decided to identify our carbon footprint in spring 2011.

What exactly does this mean for Beyers? Well, by calculating our carbon footprint, we get a better idea of the leading causes of our CO2 emissions. We can then take actions to reduce these CO2 emissions. This is good for the planet and results in better use of our energy sources.

The calculations are done in 2 phases:

  1. Carbon footprint at the organisational level (OCF)
  2. Carbon footprint at the product level (PCF)

Carbon footprint at the organisational level (OCF)

Beyers Koffie’s carbon footprint at the organisational level amounts to 2455 tonnes of CO2 for the year 2010-2011, broken down as follows:

Natural gas combustion constitutes the leading cause of our CO2 emissions, namely 77%. The second greatest source of CO2 emissions is waste.Electricity does not contribute to our CO2 emissions since we have been purchasing 100% renewable electricity since 1 January 2009.

The calculations showed that our CO2 emissions have fallen since the reference year 2008-2009. This can also be seen in the table below:

* This includes the emissions derived from heating buildings, production (roasting, grinding, packaging), commuting, business trips, waste (paper, coffee grounds, aluminium…).

** CO2 eq = CO2 equivalent 

This declining trend is largely attributable to the fact that we switched to green electricity on 1 January 2009 and that aluminium packaging has been banned since January 2010. It is noteworthy that our relative emissions have fallen despite the fact that our production in 2010-2011 was higher than in 2009-2010. 

The following table displays a simulation of how our carbon footprint would look if we had not switched to renewable electricity. It is clear that it would be a lot higher!

By way of comparison: one Atomium ball could contain 5 tonnes of CO2. Thus, the carbon footprint of Beyers equals 491 Atomium balls filled with CO2. In 2010, global CO2 emissions stood at 8.5 billion tonnes.

We are pleased that our CO2 emissions have fallen in recent years. This does not mean, however, that we should be complacent. We will continue to make efforts to reduce our CO2 levels in the coming years too.

In 2016 we will have updated figures for our OCF.


Carbon footprint at the product level (PCF)

Besides calculations at the organisational level, we also have a tool in place calculating (y)our product carbon footprint (PCF). In addition, we are performing a ‘cradle to gate’ life-cycle analysis of four product types (hard vacuum, soft packs of ground coffee, soft packs of beans, and pads). We therefore calculate the carbon footprint from the coffee plantation to the delivery at the customer’s distribution centre. The tool enables us to help our customers identify the carbon footprint of their own coffee.


Based on this tool we calculated the carbon footprint of our Beyers brand coffees and we made it climate neutral: by combining CO2 reduction in our factory and CO2 compensation through Gold Standard climate projects.



  • As part of our CO2 reduction plan, we have replaced one roaster in 2012. The roasting process will, in fact, be shortened by using an advanced pre-heating system, powered by heat recovery, and providing extra insulation. In this way, less heat will be lost and there will be less need for additional heating. In addition, this new roaster will run continuously in 3 shifts, thus minimising the losses during start-up and ‘cooling down’ phases.
  • The other two roasters also use heat recovery technology, but are not fitted with a pre-heating system.
  • The compressors form another part of our CO2 reduction plan. A central control system was installed in November 2011. This is estimated to lead to a 10% decrease in energy consumption.
  • In addition, all lights in the office building are remplaced by LED-lightning

CO2 OFFSETTING gas consumption

Despite making a major effort to reduce this gas usage by investing in a new more energy-efficient roaster, there still remains an inevitable residual quantity of CO2 emissions. Instead of expecting society to absorb the resulting costs, we have voluntarily opted to take responsibility for this themselves. We have achieved this by offsetting our 2015 gas usage through the Gold Standard environmental projects in the southern hemisphere, such as a project for improved wood ovens in Uganda. Thanks to the support provided by us, these climate projects can reduce the CO2equivalent of Beyers’ emissions here. This balances out the operation for the environment. This offsetting procedure is managed in close collaboration with CO2logic, an organisation that specialises in calculating, reducing and offsetting CO2 remaining emissions, and the only company of its kind screened by Forum Ethibel.