How to create a sustainable coffee bar at work or home

How to create a sustainable coffee bar at work or home

Friday May 18, 2018

What’s the secret ingredient for a productive workplace? Coffee! From the morning brew to the afternoon pick-me-up, many workers across Canada (and the world) rely on java to keep us going.

The Bullfrog Power office is no exception—but as always, we’ve put a green twist on things. We’ve set up a sustainably sourced, zero-waste coffee bar in our office kitchen, and in this post, we’ll share exactly how you can replicate it at work or home.

1. The beans

From farming coffee beans and transporting them around the world, to roasting and packaging them, their environmental impact can add up. At Bullfrog, we source compostable coffee pods from Office Coffee Solutions, which offers Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance Certified and organic beans. Our favourite selection? Reunion Island’s Fair Trade Organic French Roast, which is harvested from small family farms in Central and South America. Bonus: it’s roasted in Reunion Island’s bullfrogpowered facility! Both Bullfrog Power and Reunion Island are also Certified B Corps!

To ensure you’re choosing sustainably sourced coffee beans, keep an eye out for these marks:

Bullfrogpowered: This logo indicates the coffee was roasted in a bullfrogpowered facility—meaning the company reduces its environmental impact by choosing green energy.

Fairtrade: Products bearing this mark have been certified to offer a better deal to the farmers and workers involved.

Organic: For a coffee to be certified organic, it must be grown in a manner that excludes the use of fertilizers, pesticides, hormone treatments and steroids. Organic farmers instead must rely on superior growing practices, natural fertilizers and alternative methods of pest and disease control.

Rainforest Alliance Certified: Coffee farms or groups of smallholder farmers that earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal are audited annually against a rigorous standard with detailed environmental, social and economic criteria.

When selecting your beans, seek out options with minimal packaging, and opt for products with compostable and recyclable packaging whenever possible.

2. The journey

We’re proud to have our coffee supplies delivered by Office Coffee Solutions’ fleet, which is bullfrogpowered with 100% green fuel. Bullfrog Power’s green fuel is an earth-friendly, renewable alternative to conventional gasoline and diesel fuels, enabling climate-conscious Canadians to reduce the environmental impact of their transportation.

If you’re shopping for coffee supplies for your home, consider walking or biking to the café or store to pick them up. And don’t forget to use a reusable bag to carry them home!

Look for retailers that have a sustainability plan of their own and take action to reduce the transportation footprint of the products they offer. To search sustainable vendors in your area, check out our Green Directory of bullfrogpowered businesses across Canada.

3. The brew

Whether you like your coffee machine’s OS to rival that of your iPhone or you prefer a more classic French Press, you can brew your coffee in an eco-friendly way. What should you look for in your new coffee machine? Ideally, features that maximizes energy efficiency, reduce water use and create zero-to-minimal waste.

Bonus points if your coffee is brewed in an office or household that’s bullfrogpowered with green energy!

At the Bullfrog Power head office, we use the Newco CX Touch provided by Office Coffee Solutions to brew our java. The brewer has energy saving settings to ensure the brewer is using less energy during inactivity and after work hours.

4. The cup

Always use reusable cups in the office, at home and on the go. If you must use or supply disposable coffee cups, go for a biodegradable option.

5. The waste

Waste reduction and sustainable waste management are key elements of a sustainable coffee program. No matter how careful you are when choosing your coffee vendors, machines and supplies, you will ultimately be left with some waste, such as used coffee grounds. Luckily, there are resources and services available to compost and repurpose this waste.

At Bullfrog, we source compostable coffee pods from Office Coffee Solutions. Once they’re used, both the pods and their wrappers are composted by Wastenot Farms. Wastenot, a social enterprise located north of Toronto, Ontario, uses vermicomposting to turn these materials, along with the rest of our organic kitchen waste, into organic biofertilizer.

Office Coffee Solutions also partners with innovative waste management companies to ensure waste streams from their business are repurposed accordingly—striving toward a goal of zero waste to landfill. This is a great example of looking for sustainability throughout the supply chain. In order to build a strong sustainability program, it’s important to carefully consider not just your vendors, but also who your vendors choose to work with.

Office Coffee Solutions’ office is proudly bullfrogpowered with 100% green electricity, and its fleet is bullfrogpowered with 100% green fuel. Office Coffee Solutions can create a custom, sustainable coffee program for your office. Learn more at

Sustainable coffee facts sourced from Rainforest Alliance, Reunion Island and Fairtrade Canada.

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