Sustainability is an essential element of our culture and of our business performance. We continue to build
sustainability into all aspects of our business. In particular, we recently developed a centralized data
management tool that is helping us measure and track our progress toward our sustainability targets. Our
Materiality Matrix was developed as part of our fiscal 2012 efforts to update our sustainability strategy.
After identifying the most material issues to our Company, they were further assessed for their impact on
Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. and level of concern to society. The analysis helped elevate some issues in
priority and identify areas where there is a need to better understand the connections between issues. This
exercise helped form our Sustainability Strategy. Our sustainability priorities and 2020 targets are
integrated into the plans and objectives of our business units and functions. Our governance and operating
structure promotes coordination among business units and enables communication and cooperation in meeting
our targets (see graphic below).
Fair Trade Coffee and More
At Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. we use the power of our business to make the world a better place. This value is especially evident in the high-quality, sustainably sourced products we invest in and provide to our consumers. Across our line of beverages, we aim to responsibly source ingredients.
In fiscal 2014 we continued our work with coffee certification programs and industry groups to make our products more sustainable for people and the planet. Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. is proud to be a leading supporter of products that have earned Fair Trade, organic, and Rainforest Alliance certifications. Since we started purchasing Fair Trade Certified™ coffee back in 2000, we have been steadily increasing our pounds purchased. We remain one of the world’s largest purchasers of Fair Trade Certified™ coffee. In fiscal 2014 alone we purchased more than 40 million pounds of Fair Trade coffee, delivering more than $25 million in community development premium funds for coffee farmers and their families. Fair Trade is one element of our mission to build a resilient supply chain. It helps ensure a stable supply of high quality coffee for our customers and consumers, and contributes to a higher quality of life for our suppliers. And for the first time, in fiscal 2014 we expanded our Fair Trade product offerings beyond coffee to include tea.
Engaging to Address Climate Change
We partner throughout our business whether to bring greater choice in beverages to our consumers or to scale the impact of sustainability actions. As members of The Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER), we collaborate to advance environmental sustainability within the beverage sector. The Roundtable recently released its Joint Commitment on Climate Change, of which we are a signatory.
Through this collective action, we and other global beverage leaders:
Recognize climate change as one of the greatest challenges facing the continued prosperity of society, particularly to those in emerging markets;
Continue to ‘do our part’ to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) Emissions not only across our own operations, but also by driving action through our supply chains; and Support an international framework of national GHG reduction targets and commitments to invest in adaptation.
A key element of our own Climate Change strategy is engagement; working collaboratively with others is the only way to have significant and lasting impact on climate change. Signing BIER’s Joint Commitment on Climate Change is a way of unifying individual company voices to raise more awareness and, hopefully, action around this serious threat to communities, businesses, farmers, and ecosystems across the world.
Our Coffee Water Footprint
As a company we’ve always worked on multiple levels with an eye towards water conservation, including understanding our water footprint. In early 2014, we completed a comprehensive water foot-printing exercise related to our hot brewing system. The analysis verified that the impact of roasting and packaging coffee – our blue footprint1 – is minimal in comparison to the water consumption outside of our direct control.
The exercise also resoundingly confirmed that our brewers save water. The Keurig® brewing system is portion-specific, typically brewing 8 oz. at a time, and thereby avoiding the wasted coffee (and water) from the bottom of the pot that people usually dump rather than drink. In fact, studies show that brewing with the Keurig® hot platform saves 25 liters of embedded water per 8 oz. cup compared with brewing a full pot of coffee, assuming that 15% of each pot brewed is poured down the drain. Our appliances are water-smart. They allow people to prepare only what they want to consume at any given time.
Is that a huge savings in terms of volume for an individual? Maybe not, but in aggregate across millions and millions of brewers in use in North American households, it adds up. The completion of the water footprinting for coffee is the first step toward developing a holistic water stewardship framework.