VIBES Award: Good Practice


  • Roast and supply high-quality coffee beans
  • Ethical, social and environmental conscience in all their activities
  • Re-usable tubs are supplied to local customers
  • Composting of coffee chaff
  • Used coffee sacks sold to raise funds for charity
  • Energy efficient equipment
  • Plan for net zero by 2030.
Download the winners' story

Dear Green Coffee Roasters was established in 2011 and was one of the first businesses in Scotland to achieve B Corp certification. They are also accredited by the Safe and Local Supplier Standard (SALSA) which ensures high standards are maintained and are certified by the Organic Food Federation.

They apply sustainability principles to all aspects of their activities, including:

  • Supplying coffee in re-useable tubs, saving hundreds of single use coffee bags
  • Coffee chaff (dried husk/skin leftover from roasting) is composted for local allotments/community gardens
  • Coffee sacks are all re-sold - for art projects, upholstery, gardening and sack races - with over 5000 sold so far (at £1 each)
  • Proceeds go to Girls Gotta Run Campaign, a charity in Ethiopia
  • Energy efficient equipment and practices in the roastery.

They are founders of the Glasgow Coffee Festival, which was the first coffee event anywhere to be organised with only re-usable cups. This was calculated to have saved over 18,000 cups from landfill. This action contributes to a wider environmental awareness among customers and other businesses.

They supply coffee in reusable tubs to their local wholesale customers to reduce the need for single use packaging. This initiative has saved 1000s of coffee bags from landfill.

The business donates all the coffee chaff (the dried husk/skin of the coffee seed, which is a coffee roasting by product) to local community gardens/allotments for use in composting, where it decomposes quickly and adds nitrogen to the soil.

They divert from landfill all used coffee sack that pass through the roastery (approximately 5,000 in all, so far) and ensure their re-use through arts projects, upholstery, gardening and sack races. They do this by selling them online, to keen crafters and sack racers, for £1 each. They donate all resulting funds to the Girls Gotta Run Foundation, supporting the health, wellbeing and education of girls in rural Ethiopian coffee growing regions.

The roastery itself is equipped with energy efficient equipment and LED Lighting, and a percentage of the energy used is from renewable sources. Waste is collected by Changeworks Recycling who help to minimise consumption and promote reuse.

Dear Green Coffee have pledged to become net zero by 2030 and are working to achieve this. This will build on the current practices of reducing, re-using and recycling and the plan will be shared publicly. A number of local networks and organisations are supporting them on their journey, including Circular Glasgow, Climate Chamber, B-Local Scotland and the B Corp Climate Collective.

Dear Green staff are all committed to the principles that govern the way Dear Green Coffee operates, and all have completed the green champions training offered by Zero Waste Scotland. As a team they are constantly looking for ways to innovate, to achieve their Sustainable Development Goals, to improve, to reduce, to reuse and to recycle. It has been a learning curve, and in the 10th year as Dear Green Coffee Roasters, they can see positive and measurable results which also inspire others.

All staff are allowed to undertake volunteering work within working hours, with Lovacore Farm benefiting from many hours of support. Lovacore is a social enterprise which exists to build a more sustainable local food system, to the benefit of the environment and the local community.

They make charitable donations to a number of local charities, funded from a donation of £1 from every bag sold of each of their four house blends. Overall 2% of turnover is donated to charity, supporting environmental and social causes in Scotland. Half of this is certified through the “1% for the Planet” organisation.