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is at the heart of Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters
From our beginnings in 2011 we’ve worked hard to put people and the planet before profit. This means doing everything we can to reduce our waste, our energy consumption, and our impact on the environment. It also means paying fair prices for our coffee—environmental sustainability goes hand in hand with economic sustainability.
The coffee industry is inherently carbon-intensive—coffee is grown in equatorial countries around the world and is shipped to Scotland for us to roast, which itself is still reliant on natural gas. Our goal is to continuously work to minimise our footprint, both at our base in Aberfeldy and further afield.
AT THE ROASTERY
Having zero impact on the environment is impossible, but we are always looking to reduce our impact. Our coffee-making equipment, both for roasting and espresso-making, is modern and energy-efficient, while we heat the roastery using two small log-burners with local, sustainably-managed wood.
We have installed solar panels on our roastery in Aberfeldy and added insulation to help with heat loss, use an electric car for cafe visits, and compost our coffee waste. Our coffee bags are 100% compostable, and we contract with a local waste management company to recycle the bulk of the waste we produce.
A key element of our sustainable ethos is to work with like-minded partners, and this includes the farmers who grow the coffee we buy. We buy traceable, ethically-grown coffee from producers who care for the environment as much as we do—many have developed agroforestry systems or worked to set aside part of their land for rewilding.
We’re also committed to paying a good price for the coffee we buy to ensure that producers can not just survive but thrive. Our prices average significantly above the minimum Fair Trade price, and the majority of the coffee we buy each year is through long-term, direct trade relationships.
Shipping coffee from origin to our roastery is a carbon-intensive process, so we’re proud to be the first speciality coffee company in Scotland to buy coffee shipped from Colombia by sailboat. While this may not be a viable solution for the wider industry, we’re hopeful that our efforts—and the positive reaction we’ve had from customers—can serve as a blueprint for others to think about cargo shipping and seek out alternatives.
CLOSER TO HOME
While the barren beauty of the Scottish Highlands forms a large part of its tourist appeal, historically the country was covered in temperate rainforest.
Thankfully, a dedicated group of environmentalists are trying to bring it back through rewilding.
Since 2018 we’ve planted trees in the Scottish Highlands with Trees For Life, taking our team to Glen Affric and Drundreggan Estate each autumn to plant native Scots Pine, Rowan, Birch, Juniper, Aspen and Grey Willow as well as at our local community owned land at Dun Coillich.
In 2021 we launched a special positive impact coffee, True North, that raises money for Trees For Life’s rewilding and tree planting projects.
Proud to be B Corp Certified in 2022, our vision at Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters is to show how the coffee industry can be a force for positive change. We work to the following five main goals:
- Green coffee sourcing: Build direct, long-term relationships with producers and trading partners throughout the supply chain and pay coffee farmers we work with significantly above Fairtrade prices.
- Planet: Reduce our non-renewable energy use and plant trees as a team in the Highlands to offset our carbon footprint.
- Community: Help to build a strong and resilient community in the Scottish Highlands.
- Team: Provide a supportive work environment for our roastery team in Aberfeldy, together with offering good rates of pay.
- Advocacy: Be a voice for positive change through purpose led business.