As 2022 rushes to a close, the end of year is always a fantastic time to reminisce on the year that was—its highs, lows and the in-betweens. It has been a bittersweet year as the dust begins to settle on intense hardships felt by the nation over the past 36 months, one of which being climate change. In recent years, we have focused our efforts towards a more sustainable business model that is honest to our people and our planet with an understanding that we have a voice and a platform to join the movement towards climate action. We are now incredibly proud to announce that we are officially Carbon Neutral!
In the face of the changes we were seeing in the world, beginning over four years ago, the team at Five Senses Coffee felt a drive to learn about our impact on the world, and map out how it could be measured and improved. We began by engaging with Carbon Neutral Australia, in order to research, measure and prepare a report quantifying our carbon emissions, first covering the 2017/2018 financial year. We embarked on a journey to reduce our emissions, engaging staff along the way to use our combined knowledge and diversity to tackle this. This included implementing solar at our roastery in Rockingham, WA, improving our recycling habits across all of our sites, incorporating recyclable packaging, updating our suppliers code of conduct and even the little things such as efficient lightbulbs, sustainable toilet paper, Reground coffee waste collections. Since the first emissions report, we have been able to reduce our emissions by 47%.
In order to achieve the final step towards carbon neutrality, we have purchased carbon credits to offset the excess of our business operations that we are unable to change or improve. We purchased a variety of these, one of which is for the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor Project. This is a reforestation project, which aims to create a diverse range of fauna to support wildlife either as a habitat or as a pitstop for their migratory journeys through Western Australia. Currently, over 50 native species have been planted, while also sequestering large amounts of atmospheric carbon. The goal for the project is to create a 200km green corridor from the coast, inland, reconnecting 12 nature reserves across a 10,000km2 area. The Yarra Yarra Corridor is currently Australia’s largest biodiverse, reforestation carbon sink. The project is situated on the traditional lands of the Noongar, Yamatji and Widi Mob people, and this Country includes numerous sites of cultural significance. The project has consulted with Native Title holders since its inception and have had Indigenous work in over 50 job roles supporting the project and its goals, as well as protecting heritage sites that the project includes.
Our story has been far and wide, driven with a purpose to impact people positively through specialty coffee and as an extension, we acknowledge our position to play a part in important conversations in our journey. We understand that this is a milestone but not an end point and will continue to annually reassess our footprint and sustainability, and ways we can do better.
In light of a rough few years and the turmoil that so many are facing, being able to do our part for sustainability and the planet while impacting people positively. We acknowledge the privilege of being a business that is able to offset our emissions, and we look forward to continuing learning and implementing positive changes wherever we can. As 2022 comes to a close, Five Senses Coffee is excited for the years ahead, and the positive impact we will be lucky enough to share!