We are truly grateful to partner with two socially and environmentally responsible companies; Marley Coffee and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Both are involved in many causes that give back and protect the environment. Today I will highlight Green Mountain Coffee.
Green Mountain is headquartered in Vermont, nestled among the lush mountains in the cozy town of Waterbury. I was lucky enough to visit their headquarters- it was beautiful, actually breathtaking!
Green Mountain a classic Cinderella story, they started out as a typical local coffee shop:
And boy did they succeed and grow beyond their wildest imagination! We believe they can attribute this success to a mindful way of doing business.
If you know anything about this area you know it is very “green” figuratively and literally! Our partner fits right in and perhaps helps create this culture.
GMCR is recognized as a leader in the specialty coffee industry for its award-winning coffees. They are famous for innovative brewing technology. Several years ago Green Mountain purchased Keurig who brings us our much loved Keurig Kcup coffee brewers.
More importantly Green Mountain is well-known for socially responsible business practices. They offer more than 100 high-quality coffees that sell under the Green Mountain Coffee and Newman’s Own Organics brands, including one of the largest selections of Fair Trade Certified organic coffees in the country.
GMCR’s purpose is to create the ultimate coffee experience in every life it touches from “tree to cup”. This is a much different way of doing business. Their goal isn’t the lowest price from their supplier or what they can get out of the a deal. Their mentality is to nurture the supplier AND their children AND their neighbors AND their towns! They choose to support their coffee truly from “tree to cup” from the growers, to the pickers to transport to tasters, roasters, etc the list goes on. But, they start at the very beginning where very few companies choose to look.
GMCR believes that its financial success goes hand in hand with its ability to make a difference in the world. GMCR supports local and global communities by offsetting 100% of its direct greenhouse gas emissions, investing in Fair Trade Certified coffee and donating at least five percent of its pre-tax profits to social and environmental projects.
Among many other efforts the following are a few of the organizations Green Mountain supports:
Green Mountain supports many organizations that reach from “tree to cup”. They have a goal to fight poverty and hunger through thoughtfully studying their coffee supply chain. They found that farmers experienced “thin months” after the coffee harvest. Causing hardship in these already struggling farmers families. Green Mountain decided to take action and fund many grants to help the farmers get through the months between harvest without going hungry.
Sustainable coffee production requires both access to credit and the ability to manage finances. Unfortunately, affordable credit and education are not easy to come by in most coffee-growing communities. Root Capital is pioneering finance for grassroots businesses in rural areas of developing countries by providing capital, financial education, and market connections to small and growing businesses that build sustainable livelihoods and transform rural communities in poor, environmentally vulnerable places.
By providing small-scale coffee farmers with affordable credit and financial education, Root Capital has been a key link in GMCR supply chain for over eight years. GMCR has been a liaison between the farmer and Root Capital for many years. GMCR truly values the farmers and wants to direct them to a bright future and provide them with the tools necessary to keep their farms running.
GMCR is an avid ally of Grounds for Health, an international nonprofit organization that provides health care to women in coffee-producing communities. Their mission is to create effective cancer screening and treatment programs for the women without access to health care. Its primary focus is on the early detection of cervical cancer, a leading cause of cancer deaths among women in developing countries – including those that produce coffee.
Coffee Kids Inc. is a nonprofit organization that seeks to help coffee-growing families become less dependent on coffee — a volatile global commodity — as their sole source of income. Through education and economic diversification, Coffee Kids works with coffee-growing communities to build durable local economies, create economic opportunities, and stabilize family incomes.
How unselfish of GMCR to support this program. They are virtually setting these families up to NOT need them, for their own good. How many companies do you see doing this these days?
Heifer International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending world hunger by providing people in poor communities with gifts of livestock and training in environmentally sound agriculture. Heifer International and GMCR share a commitment to empowering individuals and helping communities become self-reliant. In partnership with Heifer International, we help coffee growers diversify their incomes and improve their diets.
GMCR pledged to fund a five-year Heifer International project in 2009 in and around Jaltenango, Chiapas, Mexico – the home of CESMACH, a fair trade coffee cooperative, and the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve. This project is implementing a variety of agroecological activities that may serve as an alternative to coffee production including providing livestock, beehives, fish, vegetable seeds, fruit trees, and the components for mushroom production. Over the five-year project period, 500 families will participate and increase their capacity for food production and their income by selling the surplus.
The three primary areas of focus in this project are:
- The diversification of agro-ecologic production and food consumption
- Increased income through the sale of surplus production of at least one item in the project
- Strengthening organizational processes and the families’ participation in the cooperative
Heifer International is my favorite of Green Mountains many programs because I can help support this program directly by buying Kcups with the Heifer Intl log. A proceed of my purchase goes directly to funding this project. I can enjoy my favorite coffee and feel like I am doing something to help at the same time!
Save the Children is one of the world’s leading advocates for children, envisioning a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. Their mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters initiated a food security project with Save The Children in Nicaragua with two strategic objectives:
• Increase food availability, by improving productivity, storage systems, and diversification and improve access to food, through improved market conditions and access for farmers.
You can see why GMCR has been ranked No. 1 on the list of “100 Best Corporate Citizens” and has been recognized repeatedly by Forbes, Fortune, and the Society of Human Resource Management as an innovative, high-growth, socially responsible company. They are tops on our list of great companies as well!