Sustainability Commitment

At Chesapeake Coffee Roasters, our decisions are guided by our mission: Coffee, Community, Clean Water. This mission is not just about financial contributions but also about transforming our business practices. To ensure a clear focus on our future goals and to assess our success in meeting our commitments, we have structured our sustainability commitment around two pillars: direct contributions to water-related and environmental initiatives and the economic realities of maintaining an eco-friendly business.

COFFEE

We believe there is no singular best way to prepare and drink coffee. However, all the steps along the supply chain are equally important, and it is in those steps that coffee can become specialty coffee and tie us all together. The farmer, the green coffee buyer, the roaster, the retailer, and even the consumer all have an important role in building a sustainable world for all.

COMMUNITY

Our community extends beyond the Chesapeake Bay to the broader watershed, across the nation, and all the way to the coffee-producing countries we source from. Therefore, supporting our community goes beyond the people we contact directly with and extends throughout the supply chain. The journey from bean to cup is long, and our goal is to enrich this diverse community by making sound business choices at every level.

CLEAN WATER

The cup of coffee you drink every morning contains 98.7% water. This means a good cup of coffee depends on clean water. Yet billions of people worldwide still suffer from poor access to water. Drinking water is a necessity, but our waterways also provide an essential source of food, transportation, and enjoyment. Throughout our manufacturing process, we choose to take steps to decrease our negative impact on the environment and clean water resources in coffee-producing lands and our backyard.

2023 SUSTAINABILITY GOALS

Our overall goal in 2023 was to give back 1% of gross income, or the equivalent of $30,000.

We set the following goals to achieve:

Direct Environmental Givebacks

• Oyster Recovery Partnership: $0.10 per item with an expected 15% increase in sales.

• The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore: 2% of sales of Hellbender items with a goal of $3,700.

• Gold Mountain Coffee Growers: $0.10 per pound additional premium with a goal of $1,000

• Environmentally Focused Event giveback goal of $4,500.

• Company and Employee Volunteer Time: A projected number of 6 days.

Mission Focused Supply Chain & Business Practices

• 30% of all coffees sold will be Certified Bird Friendly

• More than 70% of total coffee purchases to be Certified Organic and Fair Trade.

• 75% of our remaining coffee purchases must be direct trade, fair trade practice or organically grown but not certified.

• Elimination of Grain Pro usage in Bird Friendly Honduras (1 container of 275 bags)

• Redesigned 2.2lb Biotre Bags.

• New efficiencies in production to limit waste - label application & canning line.

2023 YEAR IN REVIEW

Coming Soon.


DIRECT GIVEBACKS



Oyster Recovery Partnership

Through our brand evolution, we continue our important giveback relationship with ORP. We allocate $0.10 from every Oyster Reef item sold, and our funds support their oyster restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay. In 2023, they planted 1.5 billion juvenile oysters on hundreds of acres of sanctuary and public reefs and planted 450 million oysters on public oyster grounds to help support Maryland's commercial watermen.

Learn More: Oyster Recovery Partnership






The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Our giveback program with The Maryland Zoo began in 2019 with the sale of Hellbender retail bags. Over the years, the giveback grew to include retail and wholesale items. In 2022, Hellbender Blend was redeveloped using Bird Friendly certified coffees and was also designated as our signature cold brew blend. For this direct giveback, 2% of sales from all Hellbender Blend products goes to assist in the research and support of the Hellbender Salamander and other native species of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. Thank you to the MD Zoo in Baltimore and Jeff Bill for sharing the Hellbender Salamander image.

Learn More: Eastern Hellbender



Gold Mountain Coffee Growers

Gold Mountain Coffee Growers has a flagship coffee farm (Finca Idealista) in Nicaragua and is also a direct trade farming group that connects farmers of high-cupping specialty coffee directly with coffee roasters. Their member farmers receive microcredit and larger loans as well as technical assistance that helps them increase yields, expand their farms, invest in processing equipment, and provide for their families. They also work with communities on projects, including running water and libraries in schools and electricity in homes. Beyond all of that positive work, they also BOUGHT a rainforest just to protect the endangered species there. In a direct giveback to GMCG we pay an additional $0.10 per pound on the coffees we purchase from them. This premium goes to support their rainforest watershed and ecosystem protection efforts.

Learn More: Gold Mountain Coffee Growers



Event Contributions & Volunteering

The CCR team donates time, coffee, and resources to various local community and environmental-focused organizations. Noteworthy past events include the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Oyster Recovery Partnership's The World is Your Oyster Festival, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center Bird House Coffee Tastings, and The Deep Creek Dunk. 




Mission Focused Business Practices


Coffee Packaging


In 2023, we partnered with GreenPod® and began offering compostable, single-use, Keurig-compatible coffee pods. GreenPods® are made from components certified in the United States for industrial compost facilities. Currently, all products "certified compostable" in the US will say something about "Industrial compost facilities" because there are currently no home compostable certifications in the US. GreenPods contain zero petroleum-based "plastic" products. They are crafted from bio-resins, plant-based materials that break down using good composting practices. They also hold up to 40% more coffee than regular pods and are sealed immediately after grinding to guarantee a fresher, richer, better-tasting brew. Plus, they're nitrogen-flushed, giving them an impressive shelf life.

Learn more: Composting & Plastic Education.




Biotre Bags' outer layer consists of natural kraft paper and cellulose from wood pulp. These plant-based, renewable materials comprise 60% of the material by weight and have been shown to break down into healthy compost in 90 days.

Learn More: Biotre Online

Steel Cans are 100 percent recyclable and can be recycled repeatedly without losing integrity. Recycling one steel food can will conserve enough energy to light a 10-watt LED light bulb for more than 24 hours.

Learn More: Steel.org

Omni-degradable fractional packaging materials that degrade by 70% within 600 days and nearly entirely in 1400 days.

Learn More: TekPak Solutions


Grain Pro Recycling

Throughout the coffee industry, businesses use Grain-Pro bags for packing and storage to maintain constant humidity, keeping green beans "fresh" for over a year. However, the bags feature a proprietary technology that makes them highly effective but also not recyclable through traditional means. In the past, we requested that our coffees from Honduras, which make up about 25% of all the coffee we use, be shipped without grain-pro bags to reduce the waste. The remaining GrainPro bags that we still received were recycled through TerraCycle. 

In 2023, GrainPro partnered with Neumann Gruppe USA, a group representing three large US-based import companies, and Continental Terminals, a third-generation, family-owned warehousing company, with whom we use to receive and house our coffee shipments. Together, they developed a new recycling program in which coffee roasters can save empty bags, pack them up, and send them to Continental Terminals, where they will be shipped to Revolution, a special plastics recycler in Arkansas willing to take on the recycling task. On Earth Day, GreenPro announced that 40 bales of used bags had been collected and diverted from landfills. At approximately 550 pounds each, that's 22,000 pounds, or 11 tons! The GrainPro bags will be broken down into pellets and transformed into new plastic products. 



Composting

We contribute our coffee chaff and cold-brew coffee grounds to Compost Crew. Based in Rockville, MD, they are working to reduce the amount of food scraps that end up in DMV landfills. With the increase in the volume of our compostable materials, using a service like Compost Crew allows us to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfills easily. For this sustainable business practice, we have four containers emptied weekly, resulting in approximately 70 lbs of compostable materials not going to a landfill. We also still make donations to Anne Arundel Co. Master Gardeners for their composting demonstration area at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis.

Learn More: Compost Crew

Learn More: Master Gardeners Composting



Previous Years

2022 OVERVIEW

In 2022 we had two sustainability goals: Donate 2% of our gross income to supporting our community, the environment, and a cleaner Chesapeake Bay through direct givebacks and reach 4% of gross income dedicated to direct givebacks and sustainable supply chain purchases.

2022 Gross Income: $2,675,151.00

$9,785.67 in Direct Environmental Givebacks:

• $3,100.94 - Oyster Recovery Partnership

• $1,868.85 - The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

• $912.72 - Gold Mountain Coffee Growers

• $3,903.16 - Event Contributions

$83,707.36 in Sustainable Supply Chain Purchases:

• $32,450.92 – Fair Trade Premiums

• $48,676.38 – Organic Premiums

• $2,580.06 – Bird Friendly Royalty Premiums

$9,299.55 Mission Focused Business Transitions:

• $6,926.55 - Omni-degradable fractional pack materials.

• $1,595 - Compost Crew

• $778 - Grain Pro Bag Recycling

0.37% of Gross Income

Direct H2O Initiative Contributions

3.13% of Gross Income

Sustainable Supply Chain Purchases

.35% of Gross Income

Mission Focused Business Transition Steps


We also participate in Conservation International's Sustainable Coffee Challenge.

Take a look at our profile: Sustainable Coffee Challenge


From all of us here at Chesapeake Coffee Roasters, THANK YOU for your continued support over the years. Your coffee purchases help us to reach our sustainability goals and fulfill our mission.

If you have any questions about our sustainability report, or would like to offer suggestions for events or eco-friendly businesses to partner with, please reach out! Contact Us