In specialty coffee, buzzwords have become ubiquitous and each day a new adjective du jour begins to appear on packaging and marketing materials. Oftentimes, the true meaning of just what these labels and terminologies mean are cryptic, or even obscured, and at times seem to boil down to just that: marketing (cough, cough, Fair Trade).
Aside from the obviously disingenuous nature greenwashing can entail, the real bummer about these practices is the fact that these behaviors can lead to a sort of boy-who-cried-wolf exhaustion among consumers, numbing them from any capacity to actually celebrate the companies that are really leading the industry forward in terms of sustainability and impact consciousness.
At KLLR Coffee, we pride ourselves on being unapologetically discerning in other brands we partner with. We’ve posted before about some of the reasons we love working with Minor Figures, and now we are back to sing their praises again as they walk-the-walk, stepping one step ahead of other oat-milk producers by becoming 100% carbon neutral, leaving other dairy-alternative manufacturers like:
What does carbon neutral even mean?
Through various processes involved in manufacturing and transporting goods, carbon is emitted into the environment. When gases such as carbon are emitted, they spread out and act as a sort of barrier preventing solar energy which would otherwise radiate into space from doing so and keeping it within the Earth’s atmosphere which, when scaled in terms of businesses around the globe, can lead to higher temperatures worldwide.
Many businesses, hoping to reduce their overall environmental impact, have committed to implementing or investing in measures that reduce carbon emissions. Being carbon neutral doesn’t mean that the businesses themselves are no longer emitting any carbon; it means that on net, they are doing as much (or more) to reduce emissions than they are doing to create them.
Minor Figures are well aware of the dynamics of these sorts of claims and they are prepared to back them up. In their own words:
“Long gone are the days when good intention and trendy marketing lingo could dress up as progress. Words are cheap, action is everything.
We want you to hold us accountable and demand more from us. By being the kind of business that works in this way, hopefully we can inspire others to do more, too.”
So how are they doing it?
The first step was determining their actual carbon emission impact. To do this, they partnered with climate action advisory, Ecofye, to get a comprehensive view of their emissions created throughout all aspects of their company from roasting, to manufacturing, to shipping, to keeping the lights on in their factories and offices.
Once Minor Figure’s emissions had been determined, they worked with Climate Partners, an environmental consulting firm that assists companies in developing carbon offset projects. After looking into various projects to contribute two, Minor Figures opted to split their offset efforts between two Gold Standard Carbon Projects operating at a grassroots level in communities themselves affected by the results of carbon emissions: Biogas, which produces small plants creating clean energy for households in Vietnam, and Clean Cookstoves, providing clean-energy cooking stoves to families in Peru who would be otherwise reliant on cooking over open flame.
Minor Figures isn’t planning to stop here. For them, it’s more than a phrase to slap on their cartons of Oat Milk. The brand is already working towards identifying ways they can further offset emissions and increase the level of environmental sustainability throughout their supply chain.
It’s clear to see that Minor Figure’s level of passion for doing business the right way is anything but minor. The next time you’re in your favorite café ordering a KLLR Coffee beverage, maybe ask for it with Minor Figures Oat Milk.