5 steps to a more environmentally sustainable cafe in 2023

We’ve put together a list of ways you can take to lower the carbon footprint of your business and set your business up to be more environmentally friendly in 2023.

Sometimes important goals like ‘have a more environmentally sustainable cafe’ can feel a bit overwhelming. To help you know where to start, we’ve put together a list of ways you can take to lower the carbon footprint of your business and set up your operations to be more environmentally friendly in 2023.

1. Minimise food and water waste where you can

The average hospitality business throws away more than 100 kg of food every week. Half of which could have been prevented. Pretty hectic!

First up, audit the waste your business incurs, categorise the waste into landfill or redeemable waste (ie. waste that can be recycled, composted or upcycled), and think about ways you can reduce that waste, using this as a guide:

  1. Compost food waste and/or put a commercial compost system in place. Waste Ninja is a great place to start

  2. Know your recyclables and recycle them

  3. Look for local charities you can donate excess food to. There are so many organisations needing access to food that’s still consumable

  4. Implement water-efficient faucets in kitchens and bathrooms or low-flow faucets

  5. Ensure the dishwasher is full before running it

2. Reduce energy consumption

Businesses often consume a heap of energy to run their operations, at least some of which can be pretty easily minimised. Get a good understanding of your consumption, and what appliances are using up the most energy. Tip: a great way to do this is to get a Powerpal installed, if you haven’t already got one. Then, consider these tips for reducing your energy use:

  1. Install timers to appliances. This ensures you aren’t using them when you don’t need to be

  2. Upgrade and maintain equipment, like fridges. Modern and well-running equipment is generally more energy efficient

  3. Manage heating and aircon more efficiently by programming in set temperatures

  4. Shift to renewable energy. Either look at solar installation (usually subsidised in some way), or chat with your energy provider about their renewable energy options

3. Use eco-friendly packaging

Take stock of all the packaging your business uses, and categorise into renewable and non-renewable. Then shift your plastic-based single use packaging to packaging made from renewable materials, using the following as a guide! Tip: we can help with this, from your packaging audit, through to helping you find the best solutions. Reach out to us 🙂

  1. Change standard single-use coffee cups to compostable cups

  2. Change standard plastic coffee bags to compostable or recyclable at the bare minimum

  3. Change standard plastic lids to compostable or even better, our Sugarcane Lids

4. Offset the emissions you can’t reduce

A great way to better manage your unavoidable emissions is through the purchase of carbon offsets. Offsets can be purchased by anyone and can be used to balance all or part of emissions measured. Head to the Carbon Neutral website to find out more about how to get the ball rolling on this.

5. Get your team on board

Make sure everyone you work with understands what you’re doing for each of these steps and the part they play in the process. You’ll need everyone working together to get this done!

We hope these tips are helpful! Got some to add to the list? We’d love to hear from you! At EcoBarista, we’re here to partner with you on your sustainability journey. We can help you specifically with your packaging audit and better packaging choices, but we can also provide support and be a sounding board across the other areas. Reach out for a chat!

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