bio-bean: 2021 in review - bio-bean
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16th December 2021

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… 

January

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.  

February

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. 

March

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

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.  

May

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. 

June

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. 

July

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. 

September

In September we closed an investment round, raising funds to support further automation and operational efficiencies in the factory. 

October

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. 

December

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.