The Specialty Coffee Association of the Americas (SCAA) presented its annual awards last night. One is the Sustainability Award, which honors individuals, businesses or organizations in the coffee industry that have created innovative projects to expand and promote sustainability.
And the winners are…
Essent Energy Trading and Solidaridad (The Netherlands) — for their partnership to use coffee husks (compressed into pellets) as biofuel. I wrote about this initiative late last year. At the time I wondered about the energy efficiency of shipping the pellets from Brazil to the Netherlands, where the biofuel is used. At the awards ceremony, it was explained how innovate this idea was to begin with, so the best source for this Dutch company (which originated the idea) was large producers in Brazil. It has been so successful that they did, in fact, state that in the future they hope to be using coffee husk biofuel to produce electricity in Brazil and other places in Latin America.
Another clarification: in the previous post I surmised that by “coffee husk” they meant just the parchment. From the short infomerical shown and the acceptance comments, it appears they mean the whole coffee skin and pulp. They mentioned how piles of coffee residue produces high pH leachate that can contaminate water and soil, and that the rotting piles produce methane, a greenhouse gas. Those facts, in addition to the fact that coffee pulp is not an animal feedstock or human feed source, makes it a really “green” biofuel with a lot of potential. Congrats to Essent and Solidaridad.
Alianza para la Sostenibilidad (APS) / Sogimex SA / Ecom Agroindustrial Corp Ltd. (Honduras) — for their efforts to increase sustainability efforts among specialty coffee producers in Honduras. The goals was to achieve overall sustainability throughout the coffee chain in Honduras, obtain critical certifications, and offer technical assistance to impact producers in the region. It’s been a huge success.
Honorable mentions went to Finca Selva Negra in Nicaragua for their waste water program, and Brazil’s Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza for their overall focus on sustainability.