Lowering Our Carbon Coffee Footprint

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colombian huila fratello coffeeRoasting coffee is one part of a long journey from Seed to Cup. Fratello has been a part of this journey for over 25 years in Calgary. We talk often about the chain of important decisions that influences quality and the many steps from the farm to your coffee cup that showcase coffees culinary potential. This is our passion

We are also passionate at Fratello about the people and places we work with that grow our coffee and the many loyal customers that enjoy it. Fratello has been working hard to reduce our overall carbon footprint at each step of this journey to you.

We would like to take the time to highlight some of the steps we are taking to reduce waste and contribute positively to the environment. We would like to be part of a dialogue with you the consumer on how we can do more to affect positive change! We welcome comments, ideas and feedback so that we can learn and grow green.

When as a company you think of reducing your carbon footprint, Recycling comes to mind first. Running a warehouse and roasting facility where we are receiving and shipping coffee and other goods daily causes a lot of material to be used.

We looked at what everyday recycling programs we could put in place easily and maintain. So far we recycle:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Milk containers
  • Cans/bottles
  • Shrink-wrap
  • Plastic

We are looking to recycle or donate broken pallets. These come to us in shipments and often break due to use. We would welcome a cost effective way to reuse or recycle these. Please contact us if you would like to come pick some up!

Coffee that is shipped to us from all over the world arrives in burlap coffee sacks. We have stopped putting these sacks into the garbage, and instead have been donating these. Gardening groups love the burlap sacks for making planters! In conversation with Green Calgary, an environmental consulting group we learned that the burlap sacks break down within a few years. Crafters also love them. Give us a call, and then visit Fratello to take away some burlap sacks for yourself!

burlap bag

We have also recently started donating all of our Chaff (a by product of roasting coffee, similar to the skin of a peanut) to be used in composting. This Chaff is also going to chicken farms for making nests. Through these efforts, Fratello has reduced its garbage shipped to landfills by 60-70%.

coffee chaffWe have also designed and implemented a revolutionary new gas burner system on our roaster which has 98% gas efficiency which is a departure from most if no all other roasters which operate at much lower efficiencies (as low as 50%).

coffee roaster burner flameWe also have re-usable Blue Bins to do our local deliveries in, instead of cardboard, and have also changed our branded cups to a paper cup using 10% post consumer products (looking into using 100% post consumer products).

recycling bins Fratello Coffee Roasters is opening our first café April 2011. Analog Café at the new location for the Calgary Farmers Market will run on 100% Bullfrog Power wind energy. We are also working with Bullfrog to supply our roasting facility with clean energy for both electricity and gas. Our café is only a few miles from our roasting facility so there will be minimal transport emissions getting the coffee to Analog café. Our pastry supplier will be right at the market as well reducing extra transport. We look forward to also benefiting from the environmental practices of the market itself and insuring we take full advantage of any composting, recycling and waste reduction programs they offer.

However, we do not look just at our company, and the city we live in. To us, the largest impact we can make is through our buying practices. Our coffee is: Consciously Chosen, Responsibly Purchased & Carefully Roasted. What this means is we do not treat coffee like a commodity. We “deep source” our coffee and buy directly with the farmers. We do this for many reasons; most obvious is to find the highest quality coffee. But just as important, is to ensure the farms and farmers we work with our doing their parts to take care of their environments.

We seek out farms that are Rainforest Alliance Certified. This is the most in depth certification available. Please read the link on our website “Why Fratello Coffee Chooses to Support Rainforest Alliance Certification” for more information on why we choose this certification:


We also purchase certified Organic and Fair-trade Organic coffees on a regular basis.

As we dig deeper into ways that Fratello Coffee Roasters and Fratello Analog Café can reduce our environmental footprint, we will share them with you. Our goal is to work closely with our community right here in Calgary and the coffee communities we work directly with. The journey from seed to cup is one that carries with it many challenges and many rewards. We are hoping in our own way to make that journey a little greener.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Please write us, either in the comments here or directly. We would love to spark a dialogue about ways we can further our environmental commitment.

Contact Kevin McConnell at Fratello Coffee Roasters:


Phone: 403 265 2112

Analog Café on Twitter: @fratelloanalog