It takes a special company to carry through a long-term commitment to monitor and manage its social, environmental and financial impacts of conducting business. Grounds for Change, a family owned and operated coffee roasting business located in the Pacific Northwest and a 1% For the Planet member since the company’s inception in 2003, is a stellar example of that special company.
Grounds for Change roasts 100% fair trade, organic coffee in small batches to ensure that its customers receive the freshest coffee possible, while remaining committed to social justice and environmental stewardship.
Early in the company’s operations, president and co-founder Kelsey Marshall sought out ways to further improve the coffee product’s overall sustainability. Knowing that the high quality, fair trade, organic coffee he was sourcing came from Central and South America as well as from Africa and the South Pacific, thus requiring long-distance product shipping, Kelsey wanted to find a way to mitigate the negative impact of his product’s carbon footprint. He searched the 1% for the Planet directory of qualified charities for one that could help, and he found Carbonfund.org Foundation.
In 2008, Grounds for Change helped Carbonfund.org pioneer the Certified Carbonfree® Products program by completing a thorough “crop-to-cup” Life Cycle Assessment and Greenhouse Gases inventory report for its roasted coffees, a third-party process that formally scrutinizes the carbon emissions associated with every step in production, use and disposal of the product. The resulting analysis helps to identify ways to reduce carbon emissions associated with the product’s life cycle then accounts for all carbon dioxide emissions remaining, starting with a coffee plant and ending with an empty bag of coffee. Grounds for Change is the first coffee roaster in the country to complete the rigorous third-party certification process necessary to obtain the Carbonfree® Certified Product label.
Because Carbonfund.org is a qualified charity with 1% for the Planet, Grounds for Change is able to use a portion of its 1% pledge to donate to Carbonfund.org and fund the Certified Carbonfree® Product program. Carbonfund.org, the nation’s leading non-profit carbon offset provider, is the only organization in North America to provide full Carbonfree® certification that meets recognized international standards for Product Life Cycle Assessment and Greenhouse Gases Inventory and Product Carbon Footprint analysis.
“It’s simply the right thing to do,” says Kelsey. “We want to provide our customers with the highest quality coffee available. To us, that means organic certified, fair trade certified and Certified Carbonfree® – caring for ecosystems, workers and the climate.”
By measuring the carbon footprint associated with each pound of roasted coffee, then neutralizing those carbon emissions through quarterly donations to Carbonfund.org that support reforestation and avoided deforestation projects around the world for each pound of coffee sold, Grounds for Change offers a truly carbon neutral roasted coffee to environmentally conscious consumers.
Grounds for Change is a Certified B Corporation and received a State of Washington award for Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability. As a member of 1% for the Planet, Grounds for Change donates well over 1% of total annual sales to various environmental organizations, including Carbonfund.org.
In addition to offering Carbonfree®, 100% fair trade and organic certified coffee, most Grounds for Change coffees are shade grown, which means the possibility of a real livelihood for coffee growers, a breath of fresh air for the planet, zero net carbon emissions from crop to cup and healthy forests for migratory songbirds. Grounds for Change purchases 100% renewable electricity that is generated by wind, solar and biomass. The company firmly believes that using sustainable energy whenever possible and offsetting all non-renewable energy used in business operations is critical to long-term success.
Grounds for Change coffee is served at independent locations around the country and is available online exclusively at www.GroundsforChange.com.
Carbonfund.org celebrates the tenth anniversary of Grounds for Change’s Certified Carbonfree® Products program by planting 100 trees in the company’s honor.
To learn more about the Certified Carbonfree® Products program, please see: