This Thursday, 16 June 2022 is Clean Air Day. Air pollution is the biggest environmental health risk that we face in the UK. With spaces in Bristol and London (cities often hitting the headlines for poor air equality) air pollution is an issue which hits pretty close to home for us. Poor air quality affects the lives of our team, our customers and their families.
Air quality and air pollution is something that most of us have heard of now. But how much does the average coffee love really know and understand about the importance of clear air?
According to Global Action Plan, the organisation behind Clean Air Day,
“Air pollution causes heart and lung disease and results in over 36,000 people in the UK dying each year. Clean air is essential for our health, and the co-benefits of clean air measures are also good for our wellbeing as well as being good for the planet.”
36,000 people is a huge number. Older people, children and vulnerable members of our society are all disproportionately affected. Global Action Plan are hoping that Clean Air Day will raise awareness of the importance for clean air, show decision makers (hi there local and national government) that there is wide spread support for improving air quality and encourage us all to walk or cycle more for shorter distance trips.
The good news is that 90% of us are already taking steps in our own lives to reduce air pollution. Here are some of the steps that we’re taking to reduce our emissions at Extract Coffee Roasters.
Steps we're taking to reduce emissions at Extract Coffee Roasters
Our roasters are fitted with afterburners
Our roasters Betty and Bertha are fitted with custom-built afterburners which eliminate VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) from our emissions.
The afterburner on Bertha, our 120kg Probat coffee roaster was fitted in 2016 following a four year restoration of the machine. In 2020 we moved this afterburner to Betty, our 60kg Probat roaster and had a larger burner built for Bertha.
These projects were a massive undertaking. What they mean in practice is cleaner air for Bristol and the communities on our doorstep.
Our coffee is roasted on vintage Probat roasters which have been rescued and restored to make them more sustainable and efficient, head over to our page Meet The Roasters to find out more.
Greener transport and electric vehicles
We're an active bunch! More than 80% of our team walk, cycle or use public transport to commute to work. Our Bristol roastery is fitted with electric charge points and we have electric company cars.
We partner with DPD who have a fleet of more than 1500 Electric Vehicles, to deliver our wholesale customer orders.
Reducing food miles in our supply chain
We look closely at our supply chain to find opportunities to reduce emissions and food miles where we can. Here are three examples of reducing our supply chain emissions.
A few years ago we made a drastic change to our decaf coffee reducing the food miles for this product by 6000 miles!. You can read more about the changes we made and the environmental benefits of these on our Decaf Coffee page.
We work with local suppliers for Extract Tea, Extract Hot Chocolate and for Syrups and Frappes to reduce food miles for these products in transit. For example, our teabags are made in Somerset, just a few miles away. Our syrups are made in Bristol by Beyond The Bean using British grown sugar.
Our coffee is transported by boat and never plane.
If you're doing your own supplier research as part of Clean Air Day and would like to learn more about what Extract Coffee Roasters are doing to reduce our environmental impact, head over to the Sustainability section of our website where you can read more about ethical sourcing, recycling and reducing waste, and lowering our carbon footprint.