Does your morning Nespresso taste even better than usual today? Maybe it’s the good vibes that come with the company’s newly minted B Corp certification.
The global coffee company that pioneered portioned coffee has joined this growing international movement of businesses, such as Stuff, aiming to use their economic power as a force for good.
Nespresso New Zealand Country Manager Stefan Vermeulen says he’s proud, excited, and humbled that the company has joined the B Corp movement. “For 30 years we’ve been producing the finest coffee, and it has always been important to us that it’s a meaningful cup of coffee,” he says. “We are a company that cares about communities, climate and circularity, and this is a continuation of that commitment.”
What is B Corp certification?
When you see the B Corp logo on a product or service, you know that the company is using the power of business to build a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable world.
To achieve B Corp certification, members need to prove to B Lab (the non-profit organisation that confers the certification) that they genuinely care as much about social and environmental purpose as they do about profit – and that they act accordingly. They aim to have a positive impact on the environment and on their employees, partners, customers, and communities.
Globally, more than 5,000 companies have joined the B Corp movement, and you can be part of that change too by choosing products and services bearing the B Corp logo.
What does this mean for Nespresso?
Stefan says B Corp certification validates policies and practices that are already deeply embedded into the Nespresso company culture. “It’s external confirmation of an internal company philosophy that every Nespresso employee is very aware of and proud of,” he says.
Years ago, Nespresso teamed up with partners including the Rainforest Alliance, TechnoServe and FairTrade to review and improve its practices. Its AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program was launched in 2003 in collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance to embed sustainable practices on coffee farms and improve the lives of farmers and their communities. The company also has a strategic alliance with Fairtrade to ensure everyone in its supply chain is treated fairly and paid appropriately.
All this aligns closely with B Corp’s standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability, which are based on strict criteria across governance, treatment of workers, customers and community, and care for the environment.
What does it mean for Kiwi coffee lovers?
Kiwi coffee drinkers can enjoy their morning Nespresso even more, knowing that no workers have been exploited and no environments destroyed in the making of their morning caffeine hit.
“In the 10 years that Nespresso has been in New Zealand, we have learned very quickly that caring for people, communities and the environment is extremely important to Kiwis, and highly appreciated by them,” says Stefan.
Why is B Corp certification important to Nespresso?
Stefan says it was a no-brainer for Nespresso to join the B Corp movement, given that over the past three decades the company had already independently implemented so many policies and programmes that aligned with B Corp’s goals. “It’s a natural progression from what we’ve been working towards under our Positive Cup programme,” he says.
What’s the Positive Cup programme?
Nespresso’s Positive Cup programme has three pillars – caring for communities, climate action and circularity.
“When it comes to caring for communities, Nespresso has a huge advantage in that we control our whole value chain,” says Stefan. “This means we make a real difference in the lives of the more than 120,000 farmers who are participating in our AAA sustainable farming programme and supply our coffee beans.”
The second pillar is caring for climate. “Here in New Zealand, we reached carbon neutrality in October of last year,” says Stefan, “so we’re well on our way in our race to net zero by 2030.”
The third pillar is around circularity, with Nespresso’s global recycling scheme as its centrepiece.
How does the recycling programme work?
Nespresso drinkers are encouraged to return their used capsules for repurposing. The aluminium is recycled into more capsules and other items, such as bicycles and ladders. The coffee grounds are composted and used as fertiliser in places like vineyards and kiwifruit orchards.
“Our recycling programme has been hugely successful and we are consistently striving to improve it,” says Stefan. “We encourage Kiwis to visit our website to find out how to join the programme.”
What are your next steps under B Corp?
B Corp companies are assessed every three years to check that they continue to meet the movement’s rigorous verified standards.
Stefan says joining the B Corp movement is a catalyst to act faster. “We have crossed the starting line but now the real marathon begins. We are committed to our road map and the objectives that we have set ourselves.
“We’re proud to have joined a movement of like-minded businesses and look forward to driving that movement and learning from it as well. It encourages us to accelerate our ambition to be a force for good as a coffee company.”
Starting your day with a coffee that’s been created with care for people and the planet is a step towards a better future. To find out more about B Corp certification visit nespresso.com and if you’re not already recycling your coffee capsules, find out how here.
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