bio-bean 2022 Impact Report
Read how we use our business as a force for good in our bio-bean Impact Report
bio-bean a Best For The World™ B Corp 2022
Press Release: bio-bean recognised for the second year running as a Best For The World™ for exceptional impact on the Environment
Alconbury Weald, Cambridgeshire, UK, 13 July 2022 — bio-bean, the world’s expert in recycling spent coffee grounds, has once again been named a Best for the World™ B Corp™ in recognition of its exceptional positive impact on the environment. Best for the World is a distinction granted by B Lab to Certified B Corporations (B Corps) whose verified B Impact Scores in the five evaluated areas — community, customers, environment, governance, and workers — rank in the top 5% of all B Corps in their corresponding size group (10-49 people).
bio-bean earned this honour for the second year running because of its impact business model of recycling spent coffee grounds and transforming them into a variety of sustainable bio-products. The Cambridgeshire-based company works with existing waste management and logistics infrastructure to divert businesses’ spent coffee grounds from traditional disposal methods like landfill, anaerobic digestion, and incineration. The team then processes and upcycles the grounds, ready for reuse in the company’s various coffee-derived bio-products.
Since founding, bio-bean has processed just under 32,000 tonnes of spent coffee grounds. And as it turns out, their solution of recycling spent grounds into bio-products is better for the environment than all the other standard disposal methods (landfill, anaerobic digestion, and incineration). In fact, they save 228% more in greenhouse gas emissions versus spent grounds going to anaerobic digestion.
George May, Managing Director of bio-bean, had this to say of the company’s Best for the World recognition:
“Being recognised as a Best for the World B Corp in the Environment impact area for a second year is a huge honour for us. To be among the top 5% of more than 5,000 B Corps globally, and one of only 6 UK companies to be honoured for positive environmental impact is something we’re extremely proud of.
Environmental sustainability is at the heart of what we do, but we’re also focused on continuous improvement, including in our day-to-day operations. We will continue collaborating with the global B Corp community and others to improve and positively impact all our stakeholders, in every impact area.”
Every year, Best for the World recognizes the top-performing B Corps creating the greatest positive impact through their businesses. More than a badge of honour, Best for the World provides an opportunity for recognised companies to share knowledge, learnings, and best practices with the B Corp community and businesses outside of the community to encourage innovation and transformation across the business sector. The full lists are available at bcorporation.net.
The Best for the World recognition is administered by B Lab, the global non-profit network that certifies and mobilises B Corps, which are businesses that meet high standards of positive social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today, there are more than 5,000 B Corps across 80 countries and 155 industries, unified by one common goal: building an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system.
“Each Best for the World edition is an opportunity to raise the bar for how businesses can and should operate to create real and lasting positive impact for their workers, customers, communities, and the environment,” said Dan Osusky, Head of Standards and Insights at B Lab Global. “While no company is perfect and even the best companies can and should continue to strive to improve, the B Corps recognised as Best for the World can provide us all — standards setters, B Corps, non B Corps, and sustainability advocates — with inspiration on what true leadership in business can look like to make progress on addressing our current global challenges.”
B Corp Certification doesn’t just evaluate a product or service, it assesses the overall social and environmental impact of the company that stands behind it. To achieve B Corp Certification, a company must meet a score of at least 80 points on the B Impact Assessment, an evaluation of a company’s positive impact, and pass a risk review, an evaluation of a company’s negative impact; change their corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders; and exhibit transparency by allowing information about their B Corp Certification performance to be publicly available on their B Corp profile on B Lab’s website.
About bio-bean: bio-bean Limited is the world’s largest recycler of coffee grounds. Based in Cambridgeshire, bio-bean takes spent coffee grounds from businesses large and small across the UK and transforms them into value at an industrial scale, giving new life to a material previously considered waste. bio-bean manufactures sustainable products from spent coffee grounds for a range of markets, both consumer and industrial, saving businesses money, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and contributing to the circular economy. For more information on bio-bean, visit www.bio-bean.com.
About B Lab: B Lab is transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. A leader in economic systems change, our global network creates standards, policies, tools, and programs for business, and we certify companies — known as B Corps — who are leading the way. To date, our community includes 400,000 workers in over 5,000 B Corps across 80 countries and 155 industries, and more than 200,000 companies manage their impact with the B Impact Assessment and the SDG Action Manager. B Lab has created and led efforts to pass over 50 corporate statutes globally that enable stakeholder governance, with over 10,000 companies using the legal framework. To learn more and join the movement, visit www.bcorporation.net.
B Lab Contact: email@example.com
Our carbon footprint
We recently undertook a carbon footprint assessment through Eunomia Research & Consulting to determine our environmental impact.
With the urgent state of our climate emergency, it isn’t enough for businesses to simply say they’re eco-friendly, sustainable, or making a positive impact. People want to (and deserve to) know exactly what that means. And, rightly so, businesses must increasingly show evidence for environmental claims.
This includes us at bio-bean.
In 2021 Eunomia gathered data to create a carbon footprint analysis model for us. They included information on every step of our process and manufacturing, from the transport of spent coffee grounds to our recycling facility to the end usage of our highest selling products.
Our carbon impact
Eunomia’s results show that our total carbon footprint is -187kg CO2e for every tonne1 of spent grounds that we process. It’s a net negative impact, which is very much a positive! It basically means that for every tonne of spent coffee grounds we upcycle, we save 187kg CO2e versus those grounds being disposed of in traditional ways.
What is CO2e? It means carbon dioxide equivalent, which is a unit of measurement used to compare the emissions of various greenhouse gases. It’s a standard unit for measuring carbon footprints.
So, what does 187kg CO2e look like? It’s the equivalent of the emissions produced by 464 miles driven by an average car, or 22,747 smartphones charged. We save that much for every tonne of spent grounds we upcycle… and to date we’ve processed just under 32,000 tonnes of spent coffee grounds.
As it turns out, our solution of recycling spent coffee grounds into our various sustainable bio-products is better for the environment than all the other standard disposal methods (landfill, anaerobic digestion, and incineration). In fact, we save 228% more in greenhouse gas emissions versus spent grounds going to anaerobic digestion.
The carbon footprints of our products
And when it comes to the individual footprint of our primary products, Coffee Logs and Inficaf, you can see below that we save up to 1,030kg of CO2e for every tonne of spent grounds we process. This figure includes our processing and manufacturing and the end use of the product.
There really is no more sustainable solution for managing large volumes of spent coffee grounds than our recycling solution here at bio-bean. And with such significant value still present within the grounds after they’ve been brewed, it’s a shame to waste their potential by wastefully discarding them.
We give spent coffee grounds a second life. And even better, it’s easy for businesses to get on board.
We help businesses reduce their greenhouse gas emissions
Spent coffee grounds are a naturally clean by-product, segregated at source by baristas and bean-to-cup machines, and are readily identifiable. From the barista preparing the coffee and depositing the used grounds into specified bags or bins, through collections via your business’s waste management or logistics company, it’s a simple process with potentially high impact in reducing your greenhouse gas emissions.
The numbers speak for themselves. Not only are we the world’s largest coffee recycling company, we’re also best for the environment when it comes to disposal of spent coffee grounds.
1 Based on output of 90% Coffee Logs and 10% Inficaf (displacing polypropylene). As Inficaf sales grow, so too will our emissions savings.
2 Includes processing, manufacturing and end use of product.
3 Based on 50% mined and 50% synthetic calcium carbonate.
bio-bean Inficaf named a cofinitive #21toWatch Top21.2022
Our latest product to market, Inficaf, has been named as one of the top #21toWatch for 2022 by cofinitive. The award recognises the People, Companies, and the ‘Things’ that they create that are setting the standards in innovation and entrepreneurship across the globe.
Our MD, George May, and our Head of Commercial, Matt Keniston, received the award yesterday evening during a bespoke event where Matt had the opportunity to present to a specially selected audience of investors, professional services, entrepreneurs, developers, and other relevant businesses.
Matt accepted the award on behalf of bio-bean and spoke about why Inficaf is a sustainable materials solution for innovative product development. Inficaf is made from upcycled spent coffee grounds collected from UK coffee shops, office blocks, transport hubs and instant coffee manufacturers. It’s a consistent, yet versatile material that reduces overall carbon emissions, and has applications in plastics, automotive friction, cosmetics, building materials, and more.
Matt said: “We are proud that Inficaf has been included in the top #21ToWatch list, as the recognition will help us to raise awareness of the product, and ultimately lead to greater sustainable impact.”
cofinitive’s founder Faye Holland said: “We are delighted that bio-bean has been named in our Top21.2022 #21toWatch list. The accolade is well deserved, and we look forward to following their progress.”
“Over the past 12 months we’ve continued to collate hundreds of submissions in response to our #21toWatch campaign and the criteria we set was pretty tough: each submission, whether it was a company, individual or ‘thing’ that they create, had to demonstrate a set of attributes: Innovation; Challenge; Influence; Viability; and Memorability. Our independent judges all agreed that all our winners have the potential for huge impact on a personal, company or product basis”.
To learn more about the cofinitive #21toWatch campaign, head to the cofinitive website.
Step #BehindTheB this B Corp Month
The arrival of March brings this year’s B Corp Month, and as a Certified B CorporationTM, we’re taking part in the month-long campaign to help raise awareness of how the B Corp community is using business as a force for good. Throughout the month, we’re inviting you to see what goes on #BehindTheB.
Being a B Corp is something we’re really proud of, so for the next 30 days, we’ll be sharing what that means to us and why it matters, now more than ever.
What is a B Corp?
Certified B Corporations are a select group of for-profit companies using the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
B Corps are verified, through a rigorous assessment process, to have met the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Essentially, being a B Corp means valuing your workers, customers, environment, and community as much as your profits — and having corporate governance that keeps those values in place.
The B Corp Movement is growing globally and rapidly. There are now over 4,000 B Corps in the world, and over 600 here in the UK.
What does being a B Corp mean to us?
B Corp recognises businesses that are working to bring about change and operate in a way that seeks to benefit the wider community, whilst it also provides a framework for continuous improvement. For us, the ethos behind B Corp is aligned with what we are trying to achieve at bio-bean.
We believe that businesses are the best vehicles for driving change and delivering impact (both social and environmental). We consider that for a business to be successful it must be more than simply profitable. So to become a B Corp is a fantastic recognition of the business that the team has built, as well as being a clear marker for the way in which we will operate going forward.
Since we gained B Corp status in October 2020, we’ve been working on a variety of improvements. We’ll be sharing some of these throughout this month, and later this year we’ll be publishing our first B Impact Report.
bio-bean is on Amazon Prime
Catch us in two RE:TV episodes on Amazon Prime: ‘Recycling Coffee’ and ‘A Circular Future’
bio-bean: 2021 in review
Well, when we did our last year in review 12 months ago, we certainly didn’t think at the time that Covid would still be putting a damper on everything. Yet here we are… But despite the many ups, downs, and twisted turnarounds we’ve all experienced, for us, 2021 has been a year of growth in many ways.
Looking back, here are a few of our 2021 highlights we’re particularly proud of…
We started off the year with a featured article in Perfumer & Flavorist, in which we highlight the opportunity for brands to make an impact by upcycling materials otherwise considered waste.
In February, we announced our supporting partnership for WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), to actively support implementation of their UK Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.
A key objective of the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap is to have the UK’s largest 250 food businesses measuring, reporting and acting on food waste by 2026. So, by signing a commitment to the Roadmap, we’re committed to helping these businesses do just that.
Every year in March the B Corp community runs a month-long campaign to celebrate and champion what it means to be a Certified B Corporation. The theme this year was Better Business and George, our MD, wrote a blog to share his thoughts on what it means to be a better business.
One of our key activities during B Corp Month was signing up to support the Better Business Act (BBA). The BBA is the campaign, led by B Lab UK, to change UK law to make sure that businesses are required to put balancing people, planet and profit at the heart of their purpose and the responsibility of their directors.
For more information on the BBA, and to get involved, visit betterbusinessact.org.
April saw the end of our Coffee Logs season. We achieved record sales across the winter months, getting our fire logs made from spent coffee grounds out to more homes, displacing more coal and imported logs than ever before.
A member of our ops team, Tom, had his moment in the spotlight when he featured in C4’s ‘Food Unwrapped’ alongside Amanda Byram! Our segment aired as part of the episode titled ‘Food Unwrapped Does Takeaways’. The episode is available to watch on playback on Channel 4’s website.
In June, Costa Coffee – the Nation’s Favourite Coffee shop – pledged to continue recycling its spent coffee grounds with us for a further two years, building on our successful partnership that started in 2016.
Rather than sending the grounds to a landfill, around 1,500 Costa Coffee stores segregate their spent coffee grounds before sending them to our recycling facility.
This summer we launched Inficaf: upcycled spent coffee grounds with infinite possibility. Inficaf is a versatile, sustainable raw material for innovative product development in industries such as (bio)plastics, cosmetics and friction/abrasion. As the world increasingly demands sustainable alternatives, Inficaf displaces virgin or synthetic materials for new commercial and industrial applications.
To discuss using Inficaf in your products, get in touch with us today.
Another major highlight for us in July was being recognised as a Best for the Environment B Corp for 2021! The Best for the World are B Corps whose scores reach the top 5% of all B Corps worldwide in one or more of the five impact areas assessed towards the certification.
At bio-bean we were recognized, out of more than 4,000 B Corps worldwide, for our efforts in the Environment area. It’s a recognition we’re extremely proud of, but our efforts don’t stop there. With sustainability at the heart of everything we do, we’re continuously working to improve the way we do things, and therefore our impact on the environment as well as our workers and the wider community.
In September we closed an investment round, raising funds to support further automation and operational efficiencies in the factory.
The arrival of autumnal weather meant Coffee Logs hit retailers’ shelves again across the UK. And this year, our planet-friendly fire logs powered by coffee hit Tesco shelves for the first time ever. After just 4 seasons of selling Coffee Logs, we’re proud to now be stocked in 3 major supermarkets, along with 2 major DIY retailers, several garden centre chains and hundreds of independent shops across the nation.
We’ve finished off the year with Inficaf showcased in a piece of wall art in McDonald’s new net zero location in Shropshire. We’re proud to have worked with them to help demonstrate sustainable innovations possible in the hospitality sector and others.
Of course, we’ve not been spared from Covid disruptions. Indeed, we don’t believe any business has. Despite ongoing Covid complications, since the 1st of January we’ve recycled 6,400 tonnes of spent coffee grounds from hundreds of businesses across the UK, and thus have saved over 2,700 tonnes of CO2e emissions. This amount is equal to 6.8 million road miles driven by an average car!
We’re extremely proud of how each one of our staff members have banded together to fill in gaps, keep things running smoothly, and, most importantly, help keep one another safe. Our team are outstanding in their dedication and willingness to pitch in and be flexible, and they deserve this recognition.
Looking ahead to 2022
We’re brewing up some exciting things for 2022, including new coffee collection collaborations coming to the fore, and some exciting product innovations in the pipeline with a few of our partners.
We’ll also be publishing our first B Impact Report later in the year, highlighting the steps we’ve taken to boost our impact since our certification to B Corp status in October 2020.
If you’re interested in partnering with us, whether through recycling your business’s spent grounds, innovating with Inficaf or selling Coffee Logs, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Creating bioplastic from coffee oil: our Horizon 20:20 project
Spent coffee grounds are not a waste. Following the brewing process, coffee grounds still have considerable residual value. One aspect of that value lies in the oils. In fact, spent grounds contain up to 20% oil content!
These oils have a wide variety of potential uses as a sustainable material, from cosmetics to a substitute for palm oil, or even as a precursor in the production of a sustainable bioplastic. This latter application is our current focus for oils from spent coffee grounds, as part of our work within the EU-funded Horizon 2020 WaysTUP! pilot project. And this week our Product Development & Technology team has been in France taking a step forward in the scale-up of this work.
Scaling up the process
With lab-scale tests in our own facility successful and complete, we took a major step in the pilot project this week when we began using a specialised extraction facility to maximise the volume of oil we can obtain. The facility features a clean, environmentally sustainable extraction method and allows us to model the economics of scaled coffee oil extraction.
How will the project work?
We start by collecting spent coffee grounds from businesses across the UK. Once we’ve processed the grounds and have extracted the residual oils, we’ll ship the product to Nafigate, our partner in the WaysTUP! project, who will prepare the oil for incorporation into a biodegradable food wrapping.
Seeking viable new products from a material that was previously thought of as a waste is a long and challenging process. As a member of the WaysTUP! Consortium, though, we have the resource to explore the coffee oil opportunity, as well as access to partners who have the capability and potential customers for a final product.
Stay tuned for a further update in 2022 on how the oil-to-bioplastic production is progressing.
Introducing Inficaf: bio-bean’s latest innovation from spent coffee
We’re in the business of creating impactful, sustainable change by innovating through coffee waste. And our latest innovation does just that.
We’re proud to introduce Inficaf: upcycled coffee with infinite possibility.
Spent coffee grounds, renewed and upcycled for reuse, are a sustainable, bulk raw material with versatility across a wide variety of industries. From plastics to automotive friction, and from cosmetics to textiles and more, spent coffee grounds offer a sustainable alternative to virgin or synthetic materials whilst also reducing waste.
The world drinks approximately 2.5 billion cups of coffee every day, creating an estimated 18 million tonnes of spent coffee grounds every year.
Typically, those spent coffee grounds are sent to landfill or anaerobic digestion, neither of which make use of the residual value within this resource.
But what if, instead, those grounds could displace conventional fillers in brake pads, or petroleum-based compounds in plastics? What if they could become the key ingredient in a beauty exfoliant rather than fresh grounds from green coffee beans? Or be used in fabric fibres to replace some of the synthetics?
Well, they can. And by diverting spent coffee grounds from landfill and instead upcycling them for reuse in a circular economy, we reduce waste and subsequent greenhouse gas emissions, and we drive behaviour change, helping the world to rethink ‘waste’.
Inficaf is made from spent coffee grounds collected from UK businesses at every scale, including coffee shops, office blocks, airports and instant coffee manufacturers. When the grounds arrive at our facility in Cambridgeshire, we process and dry them to requirement before sieving and packing them up for innovative, new commercial and industrial applications.
Inficaf is consistent in particle size, moisture content and bulk density, making it a versatile raw material for businesses seeking to create transformative change.
The possibilities are endless. What will you make with Inficaf?
For more information on this raw material, visit the Inficaf page on our website.
To discuss using Inficaf in your products, get in touch.
Best for the World B Corps 2021
We have just been named as one of the Best for the WorldTM B Corps of 2021!
What is Best for the World?
The Best for the World are B Corps whose scores reach the top 5% of all B Corps worldwide in one or more of the five impact areas assessed towards the certification.
At bio-bean we are recognized, out of more than 4,000 B Corps worldwide, for our efforts in the Environment area.
Given that all B Corps already meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose, this is a recognition that we are incredibly proud of!
Why are we Best for the Environment?
Our business is built on a foundation of environmental sustainability. It’s inherent in what we do: upcycling spent coffee grounds into sustainable bio-based products for a circular economy. We reduce waste, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the circular economy. But what about how we do it?
Well, we’ve taken various measures over the years to reduce our environmental impact. We work with existing waste management and logistics companies to collect the spent coffee grounds, thereby reducing the number of road miles and subsequent emissions in the process. We use a large-scale biomass boiler to power our upcycling process at our facility, and we have various water-saving measures in place as well.
But more than that, we’re undertaking an internal project – a Sustainability Improvement Plan – with input from our entire team. The project examines our day-to-day operations with the objective to continuously improve the way we do things, and therefore our impact on the environment as well as our workers and the wider community.
And of course, we’re not doing it alone. As part of the global B Corp community, we’re sharing and gaining insights into best practice for using our business as a force for good.
We are so proud to be named Best for the Environment! And congratulations to all our outstanding, fellow Best for the World B Corps.
You can see our B Impact Score and more details on our B Impact Assessment Report.
For more information on Best for the World, and to see the full list for 2021, visit the B Corp website.