This report is intended to outline the initiatives we support, review our successes and failures in meeting our goals for 2022, and affirm our sustainability and giveback goals for 2023.
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:
• $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:
• $48,676.38 – Organic Premiums
• $2,580.06 – Bird Friendly Royalty Premiums
$9,299.55 Mission Focused Business Transitions:
• $1,595 - Compost Crew
• $778 - Grain Pro Bag Recycling
0.37% of Gross Income
3.13% of Gross Income
.35% of Gross Income
2022 SUSTAINABILITY REPORT
This past year we celebrated our 20th anniversary as a business. We changed our name from the Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company to Chesapeake Coffee Roasters, introduced a new logo and redesigned our signature line of coffee cans. But 2022 also served as a year for us to plan for the future, working to build a more sustainable supply chain and furthering our mission of “Coffee, Community and Clean Water”.
We believe that there is not a singular best way to prepare and drink coffee. But we do believe that 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.
Our community extends beyond the Chesapeake Bay, to the wider watershed, across the nation and all the way to the coffee producing countries that we source from. Therefore supporting our community goes beyond the people we come in direct contact with and extends throughout the supply chain. The journey from bean to cup is a long one and our goal is to enrich this diverse community by making sound business choices at every level.
The cup of coffee you drink every morning contains 98.7% water. This means that a good cup of coffee depends on good, clean water. And yet, billions of people around the world still suffer from poor access to water. Drinking water is necessity of life, but our waterways also provide an important 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 in our backyard.
2022 YEAR IN REVIEW
Oyster Recovery Partnership
Through our brand evolution we still continue our important giveback relationship with ORP. In 2022 we allocated $0.10 from every Oyster Reef and Sunset Decaf (previously Decaf Reef) item sold. Our funds support their oyster restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay. In 2022 they planted 950 million oysters and passed the milestone of 100 billion oysters planted since their inception.
Learn More: Oyster Recovery Partnership
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Our giveback program with The Maryland Zoo began in 2019 with the sale Hellbender retail bags, and later grew into both retail and wholesale products. To expand upon this giveback program further, in 2022 we redeveloped Hellbender Blend using Bird Friendly certified coffees and designated it to be our signature cold brew blend as well. For this direct giveback, 2% of sales from all Hellbender Blend products goes to assist in the research & 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
In 2022 we were able to start participating in events again; donating time, coffee and resources to various local community and environmental focused organizations. The while we value interacting with the public in every event that we participate in, the most noteworthy events of 2022 were the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Oyster Recovery Partnership's The World is Your Oyster and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Icebreaker Events at the National Aquarium and Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Our team totaled 167.5 hours of volunteer time from our 2022 events.
Mission Focused Business Transitions
In 2022 we were happy to find an eco-friendly solution to our fractional packaging material, which is used to supply coffee to a majority of our dining services customers. At an increased cost of $0.12 and $0.21 per meter respectively, for small and large-sized fractional packs, we feel its positive impact is greatly worth it. This new omni-degreadable fractional packaging degrades by 70% within 600 days and nearly fully in 1400 days, whereas our old packaging would not have degraded naturally at all in the environment by this time.
Learn More: TekPak Solutions
We also continue to use Biotre Bags for our bulk 2.2lb packaging. The outer layers of Biotre consist of natural kraft paper and cellulose from wood pulp. These plant-based, renewable materials make up 60% of the material by weight and have been shown to break down into healthy compost in 12 weeks/90 days using ASTM D6868 test conditions. The interior layer is made with an additive that makes it “oxodegrade”. This additive has been shown to allow plastic to break into microscopic pieces under specific conditions over 5-10 years vs. the estimated 1,000 years needed for normal plastic. TricorBraun Flex has a whole page about Biotre where you can review composting results & facts.
Learn More: Biotre Packaging
Grain Pro Recycling
Throughout the coffee industry, Grain-Pro bags are used to maintain a constant 12% humidity in the coffee bean even, in dry or humid locations. This means that green beans stored in these bags can remain “fresh” over a year. However, these bags are made of plastic. We have therefore requested (and been told we are the only company so far to have done so) to have our coffees from Honduras, which make up about 25% of all the coffee we use, shipped without grain-pro bags. Because of the volume of Honduras that we use, we have a relatively short turnaround time from delivery to roast date which still allows us to maintain freshness standards, while eliminating additional plastic.
Additionally, GrainPro has started offering recycling options for the bags through Terracycle, an option we were quick to support. For the Grain Pro bags that we continue to receive from other coffees, we now pay to ship the bags back for recycling. In 2022 we sent 100lbs of bags to Terracycle, which was approximately 300 bags not headed to the landfill.
In 2022 we also made the switch to 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 an easy way to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfills. For this sustainable business practice, we pay $178 a month and have 4 containers emptied every week, resulting in approximately 70lbs 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
At Chesapeake Coffee Roasters we aim to make decisions based on our mission. We do this not only by making financial contributions but also through changes in business practices. In an effort to further clarify our goals in the future, and determine whether we were successful in reaching our commitments, we have decided to split our sustainability commitment into two pillars; direct givebacks to water-related and environmental initiatives and cost realities of maintaining an eco-friendly focused business.
2023 SUSTAINABILITY GOALS
In 2023 our goal is to giveback 1% of gross income, or the equivalent of $30,000.
Direct Environmental Givebacks:
• 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
• 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.
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. We look forward 2023 and are excited to share more with you in the future.
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
We'd like to extend a special thank you to Lucas Kehus our winter intern who helped with compiling our 2022 Sustainability Report, formulating our 2023 Sustainability Goals and providing the corresponding photographs.