Our sustainability practices focus on meeting today’s needs without compromising our ability to meet the needs of the future. In doing so, we focus on three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social and economic.


Environmental Sustainability

We roast our coffee on the world's most innovative and energy-efficient machines, Loring SmartRoasters. This has reduced energy consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 80%.


We have upfitted our roasting facility with roof-mounted solar panels, and we have replaced all our roastery fluorescents with LEDs. This reduces our energy burden on the planet by up to 30%.


Since 2018, we have worked closely with Compost Now to bring composting to our roasting facilities and to all our cafes.  Our compost initiatives expanded greatly in 2019. Today, most of our single-use service items in our Triangle-area cafes are commercially compostable. 


Over the last year, our composting efforts have generated some amazing results. Here's a snapshot:



    We've diverted 118,939 lbs of food waste away from landfills.


    We've created 29,735 lbs of nutrient-rich compost.


    Our composting equates to 347,201 fewer miles of car exhaust pollution.

    Growing plant

    We've generated enough compost to grow 29,735 tomatoes.

    Social Sustainability

    In 2004, we made a commitment to support under-represented coffee professionals, especially the women farmers of Café Femenino, by paying a premium to Fair Trade for the coffee they produce. Now, we are the exclusive roaster and distributor of Café Femenino Coffee.


    We provide marketing and development support to the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA), which empowers women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives; and to encourage and recognize the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry.


    We teach and mentor at the Coffee Equity Lab at Vanderbilt University with a goal of creating meaningful and coordinated resolutions to equity challenges for all actors across the coffee supply chain.


    We are a key speaker on issues of social sustainability and gender equality at the Specialty Coffee Expo, Coffee Fest, as well as other professional organizations within and outside of coffee.


    We partnered with Oxfam International on gender justice and gender equity initiatives, presenting those findings at The Specialty Coffee Association international Expo.

    Economic Sustainability

    We provide our baristas with a living wage as certified by local agencies, such as Orange County Living Wage, which certifies our locations in Orange County.


    Joining the industry’s transparent trade initiative, we return 20% of the packaged price of several Direct Trade coffees to communities where the coffee is grown.


    We partner with producers, exporters and others that empower workers and pay fair wages: