10 years of sustainable innovation and impact - bio-bean
Dry Coffee Grounds


7th February 2023

10 years of sustainable innovation and impact

bio-bean is 10 years old! It’s hard for us to believe it, and we’ve come such a long way since the founder had his ‘eureka’ moment over a cold americano back in 2013.

We’re now a team of 31 experts in coffee recycling, we have 4 different product lines all made from recycled spent coffee grounds, we work with major retailers across the UK as well as businesses across a variety of industries around the world, and we’re a Certified B Corporation.

It’s been one incredible journey, complete with highs, lows, side steps, and forward strides. Here’s a brief look back at what we’ve been up to since the beginning…


bio-bean was founded by Arthur Kay, then an architecture student at University College London.


We won the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. This was our first significant funding and it enabled us to get our research and development work underway.

bio-bean factory, Cambridgeshire, 2015

bio-bean factory, Cambridgeshire, 2015


We signed the lease at our site in Cambridgeshire (now our headquarters), built the first iteration of our recycling facility, and started to grow our team.

We took our first deliveries of spent coffee grounds (from First Mile in London) and dove into trial and error of processing the grounds. We were drying the grounds using a trailer dryer and mixing them with a cement mixer!

This was also the year we trialled pellet manufacturing on a small scale.


Coffee Logs was born! We launched Coffee Logs into the solid fuels market, boosted by funding we won from the Virgin Media Business VOOM award (for the grow category).

We also launched coffee collection services with our first national-scale coffee recycling partner, Costa Coffee – a partnership that continues to this day.

Coffee Logs production, 2017


Coffee Logs found their place on Morrisons shelves – our first major retail partner – and sales took off.


We undertook our first carbon footprint assessment, using Avieco (formerly Carbon Smart), which demonstrated the positive carbon impact we have through processing spent coffee grounds.

This was also the year we installed our biomass boiler and large-scale dryer at our facility, which allowed us to move to drying spent coffee with a more sustainable fuel.

And in 2018 we opened a dedicated R&D lab in Welwyn Garden City, where our development team began focusing on extracting flavours from the spent coffee grounds.


We launched our first natural flavour ingredient into the food & beverage industry following a joint development agreement with one of the top three ‘flavour and fragrance houses’ globally.

We gained our ISO14001 accreditation.

And we joined the European WaysTUP! Horizon 20:20 partnership exploring sustainable coffee oil extraction.

Coffee Logs production, 2020

Coffee Logs production, 2020


Covid hit, and with businesses shut down across the country, we had no spent coffee coming in. So a major win for us was making it through the pandemic that year, and with increasing sales of Coffee Logs throughout that winter season.

We also took the opportunity to extend our dryer and increase its drying capacity – meaning we can recycle even more spent coffee grounds.

We became a Certified B Corporation in 2020, joining the global movement of using business as a force for good.

And we won the Insider Media Made in Central & East England Awards for our natural coffee flavour ingredient in the Food & Drink Award category.

Inficaf production, 2021

bio-bean launched Inficaf in 2021


We launched Inficaf and established sales of our sustainable raw material in various markets.

We gained our ISO9001 accreditation and were named a Best for the World B Corp for our environmental impact.

We moved our lab and London office up to our headquarters in Cambridgeshire so we could all collaborate under one ‘roof’.

Out in our factory we upgraded much of our equipment and added an automated bag packer, much to the team’s relief.

B Corp plaque in coffee pile

bio-bean became a Certified B Corporation in October 2020


We updated our carbon footprint assessment following all the changes in our factory, this time with Eunomia Research & Consulting. The report shows that for every tonne of spent grounds we recycle into our various bio-products, we save 187kg of CO2e.

We were again named a Best for the World B Corp for our positive environmental impact, and we published our first ever impact report.

We also won a position for Inficaf on the #21toWatch Top21.2022 list for Things 2022, and we won the Made in Britain Impact Awards for Innovation of the Year (again, for Inficaf).


bio-bean is now 10 years old!

Since starting spent coffee recycling, we’ve recycled nearly 40,000 tonnes of spent coffee grounds, saving just under 9,000 tonnes of CO2e. This amount would take roughly 408,500 trees to process over the span of a year. That’s a 743-acre forest!

We’re extremely proud of everything we’ve achieved over the past 10 years, and particularly proud of our team. Without them, we simply wouldn’t be where we are today.

We have ambitious growth plans over the next 10 years. But first, we’ll take a brief pause to celebrate our 10th birthday.