Glen Lyon Coffee (GLC) is dedicated to putting people and the environment before profit. We are committed to tracking our energy production year on year and to setting measurable targets to both reducing our carbon footprint and offsetting it with tree planting. We are also committed to zero waste and making our impact on the planet a positive one. GLC is aiming to becoming certified carbon neutral by 2025
The GLC roastery is based in the Aberfeldy Business Park where it leases its business premises. The roastery is one part of a much larger warehouse and was previously a fitness gym. The following improvements have been made by both ourselves and the previous tenant to improve the building’s energy efficiency.
By the end of 2022 GLC is committed to installing an initial bank of solar panels which should reduce our electricity demand from non-renewable sources by as much as 20%.
Together with indirect carbon production from electricity the main source of carbon production at GLC is the burning of Propane for our two Probat roasters and wood to heat the roastery. In 2020 we have calculated that we burnt approximately 30 metric tons of carbon. (please refer to GLC 2020 environmental impact report).
To offset this carbon cost GLC is committed to tree planting with the environmental charity Trees for Life in Glen Affric in Inverness-shire. In 2019 the team planted 155 grey willow. GLC’s aim is to plant an equivalent number of trees every year that will equate over 40 years to a similar amount of carbon produced at the roastery.
Transport is the other source of carbon that GCR is responsible for. In 2018 GLC invested in a 100% electric company car. This is used for local deliveries, trips out to cafes for training and for the directors to get in and out of work. GLC is committed to encouraging staff to reduce their journeys by car through car sharing or by cycling to work
GLC will sign up to the bike to work scheme in 2021. GLC is committed to being audited as having net carbon emissions by 2025.
Water usage is limited at the GLC roastery to one bathroom and a single sink in the kitchen area. In 2020 we invested in a small glass dishwasher which is more efficient than hand washing.
GLC made commitment to zero waste from its beginnings and has been working steadily on reducing, re-using and recycling waste ever since. The GLC roastery is responsible for waste generation from a number of sources, including packaging from received goods, coffee packaging and take out cups. To meet our commitment we have taken the following steps:
GLC is one of the first coffee roasters in Scotland to switch from plastic and composite to fully compostable packaging. In 2018 we pioneered the first 100% compostable kilo bag for coffee in Scotland. In 2020 we switched to 100% compostable bags for all 250g retail packs. All of the labels that are stuck onto the bags are now also 100% compostable.
GLC recognised that take out cups are very problematic for the coffee industry. We have always sourced our take out cups from Vegware which supply both compostable cups and lids (made from corn starch).
In 2020 GLC signed up to a waste trade account with Binn Group that picks up mixed compostable materials from a dedicated bin two times a week. These items are then separated and industrially composted in a plant in Glenfarg. Any residue, non-compostable materials in items such as ‘compostable’ cups is then burnt off for biomass energy production.
The GLC roastery has clearly marked bins for recycling glass, paper, tin cans and mixed compostable materials. There is a rota for staff to take these separated materials directly to the recycling centre in Aberfeldy twice a month.
There are three main sources of organic coffee waste. Chaff which is a by-product of roasting, unsold coffee beans and used ground coffee from the espresso machine. All of these are recycled at GLC as follows:
Chaff is given away to residents in the area to use as bedding for chickens.
All long-dated coffee is sent to the FareShare charity and distributed to around Scotland
All ground coffee is composted in our onsite composter and offered free to walk in customers for their gardens.
GLC takes great care in selecting ethical businesses to buy its merchandise from and is committed to continuing to apply the same rigorous sourcing standards going forward. For example:
GLC T-shirts are made from 100% organic ‘EarthPositive’ cotton.
GLC thermos’ are made by Klean Kanteen, a certified B Corp plastic free company.
We supply organic, hemp, recycled cloth filters for making filter coffee through all glass Chemex.
Our tote bags are made from organic, recycled cotton.
GLC takes care to source as earth friendly products for all aspects of the Roastery. This includes:
GLC is committed to only using 100% compostable materials in all of its packaging in 2021. Glen Lyon Coffee is committed to going plastic free by the end of 2021.
GLC hosts a monthly community Repair Café which is run by dedicated volunteers who repair and mend everything from toy cars to electronics and furniture for free ultimately saving broken items from landfill.