Green Mountain Coffee Roasters will award four grants of $200,000 each to organizations with ideas to combat climate change in four core areas: transportation-related emissions (including GMCR’s product shipping), threats to coffee-growing communities (enormous, given that climate change is already pushing coffee production to higher altitudes), building political will, and empowering individual action. Grant recipients will also be required to meet with GMCR twice a year to help the company work on reducing and mitigating its own carbon footprint.
The last two grant categories seem a little amorphous, but I’m quite enthusiastic about the potential for development of programs that can help farmers adjust to climate change (for those that can; the solution for many farmers may actually be to transition to other crops, unfortunately).
This grant project is part of a larger effort by GMCR to focus on climate change through changing business practices and raising awareness (you can read their statement on climate change here, PDF).
Spending $800,000 in the current economic crisis by a company that sells what is essentially a “luxury” item is, I think, a pretty strong statement of commitment to environmental responsibility. Kudos to GMCR.