Programs and partnerships.

Nespresso Australia hosted an intimate panel discussion in Sydney with four Australian experts to drive conversation around current trends, issues and ways to overcome barriers to contribute to a more sustainable future.

Nespresso had coffee ambassador, Mitch Monaghan as part of the panel to explain how the company has continued to put sustainability as a priority since day one. He was joined by Planet Ark CEO, Paul Klymenko, UNSW Australia director of sustainable materials research and technology, professor Veena Sahajwalla and Circular Fashion Conference founder, Camille Reed.

“We know there is a real appetite for what businesses are doing to drive sustainability and with that comes consumer demand for more information and they then make choices as to which businesses they will and won’t engage with,” Monaghan said.

“From a Nespresso perspective, sustainability has been very important to us for a long time. If you look at where the story starts for Nespresso, it is at our coffee farms. We knew that getting quality coffee was going to come at a premium and that if you want to protect the coffee, you need a program to support it.

“In 2003, we collaborated with the Rainforest Alliance to design our own program and it’s built on three pillars. First – getting the coffee to a certain quality and maintaining it. Secondly, increasing productivity of the quality coffee at the farm and thirdly, managing all aspects of coffee farming, both environmentally and socially.

“Our program makes an extremely positive impact on the farmers and their communities. In 2006, we met with 300 farmers to unveil our program and explain the benefits of being part of it. But no farmers joined up. What was missing was the long-lasting relationships and trust. Fast forward to 2018 and there are now 74,000 farmers that are part of the program.

“Recycling is an important aspect of our brand and what we do. We have established a program that recycles our capsules and the facilities to do that. In 2016, we partnered with Australia Post to create a network of collection points including the existing Post network. This meant that all of our customers had access to a recycling solution.

Nespresso coffee ambassador, Mitch Monaghan

“What next? We are looking to the future and working with partners who establish new and more convenient ways to recycle. Something that we have been talking a lot about over the last few years in the potential for kerbside. This is a huge undertaking, a massive challenge. As was the AAA program, as was Australia Post. We don’t shy away from a challenge, but it is a challenge and it is important to take note of that.

“What has been really important in the journey of sustainability, is partners. To have a network of partners on a global level and a local level means you can develop or design solutions that make sense. They translate and they are accessible. There are many opportunities that exist and it’s through these partnerships that we are able to go down these paths.

“We have a responsibility to implement the right kind of program that our customers can access. Beyond that, we also have to provide the education. We have been spending a lot of time in how we engage our workforce so that those messages come across to the customer so that ultimately they can recycle. The system exists; it’s there, so our job now is around education.”