Costa Coffee sets 2040 net-zero target

Costa Coffee has announced a 2040 net-zero target. Given that almost 95% of its emissions are indirect, the coffee chain has pledged to ensure all key suppliers have carbon management targets in place by 2023.

Costa Coffee sets 2040 net-zero target

As is the case with most large businesses

The business had already joined the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Climate Action Roadmap, which commits signatories to working towards net-zero by 2040. Today (22 March), it has built upon that commitment with its own 2040 net-zero target and plans to deliver it.  

The 2040 target is supported by an ambition to halve emissions intensity, on a per-coffee-serving basis, by 2030. A 2019 baseline has been set for this target; in 2019, the average carbon footprint of a cup of Costa coffee was 0.68kg of CO2e.

Costa has chosen a per-coffee-serving target in light of the fact that Scope 3 (indirect) emissions represent 94.6% of its total emissions footprint, with milk and coffee beans being top contributors to these emissions.

One of the priority actions Costa will take to reduce emissions is working with all key suppliers, including dairy farmers, to ensure they are working to their own carbon reduction plans. For key UK & Ireland suppliers, plans will be in place by 2023.

Other priority actions include piloting regenerative agriculture projects on coffee farms; incentivising customers to choose dairy-free milks, which have a lower carbon footprint, and working with logistics providers on low-carbon fuels and electric vehicles (EVs). More information will be released in the coming months, including information on reducing the lifecycle emissions of food.

As for emissions associated with Costa’s operations, the business has used only renewable electricity at company-owned UK stores and at its UK roastery since 2017. It will now encourage the switch to renewable electricity at non-owned stores and draw up plans to improve energy efficiency.

Costa estimates that it will be able to reduce its absolute emissions from 540,000 tonnes of CO2e in 2019 to 440,000 tonnes in 2030 and 54,000 tonnes in 2040. At that point, it will invest in verified carbon removals to “net” its emissions to zero.

The business’s global brand and sustainability director Deb Caldow said the net-zero commitment is the “right and necessary next step” in Costa’s sustainability journey.

Caldow said: “We know that reducing our emissions by half per coffee serving and ultimately reaching Net Zero is going to take a lot of collective effort from all of us at Costa Coffee – from our team members and partners to our suppliers and consumers. But we are energised and prepared to work together to make a difference, as we continue to aspire to become the world’s most loved coffee brand and uplift the lives of coffee fans around the world”.

Sarah George

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie