UK coffee chain Costa has been awarded industry recognition for its work across sourcing, society and the environment by becoming a Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) two-star sustainability champion of the café industry.
After a thorough and comprehensive review of Costa’s policies and practices, the SRA awarded Costa the two star rating for cafés achieving an excellent standard of sustainability. Costa was particularly praised for sourcing a wide range of ingredients from British producers, its seasonal sourcing policies and waste management practices – both key areas for focus across the hospitality industry.
Following the success of the standard SRA rating and recognising the complexity of issues relating specifically to the café industry, the SRA launched its new two-star scheme to support and guide the UK’s more than 10,000 cafés on their sustainability journey earlier this year. Costa is the first café to have been awarded this rating.
Costa works hard to ensure its food and drink products are sustainably, ethically, and where possible, locally sourced. The chain supported the SRA in this development process as part of its ongoing commitment to raising awareness of sustainability across the hospitality sector.
Corporate responsibility manager Sandy Gourlay said: “Costa is deeply committed to our corporate responsibility programme. From the recent announcement of the launch of our new apprenticeships programme to our ongoing work to reduce waste across the business, we are always seeking to reduce our environmental impact and maximise our investment in our people and wider sustainable practices.
“We are delighted to have been recognised by the SRA for this ongoing work and we would encourage other coffee businesses to follow our lead in this area. There is so much good work going on in the café sector that we feel it is important for coffee shop operators, no matter how large or small, to be able to be recognised by their customers for their work in sustainability. The SRA rating system helps make it clear.”
SRA managing director Mark Linehan said: “We developed this programme in answer to public demand for cafés to be more progressive and not simply rely on the ethical certification of their coffee as enough to demonstrate their sustainability.
“Costa demonstrated great leadership by becoming the first café group to join the SRA. Now it can proudly boast that it’s also walking the sustainable walk by putting its whole operation under the microscope – not just in terms of the coffee it sources, but also its proactive approach to its social and environment impact. Costa has shown that it is possible for major operators to excel, and we would urge others to drive sustainable innovation in the industry.”
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