Understanding your coffee carbon footprint

Understanding your coffee carbon footprint

A carbon footprint is the best estimate we can have to understanding the full impact of "something" on climate change. The impact is measured by the amount of greenhouse gasses, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), emitted into the atmosphere.

Our Coffee Carbon Footprint Calculator helps you understand your current impact on climate change and what little things you can do to decrease it.

With the release of the calculator, we thought it necessary to educate you on how we created our calculator and what you can do about your coffee carbon footprint.

Here are a few baseline coffee footprint calculations: 

Making a blue swell compostable coffee pod

1 standard coffee black - 21 grams of CO2 emissions
1 Tripod (certified compostable) coffee pod black - 6.68 grams of CO2 emissions 
1 aluminium coffee pod black - 15.95 grams of CO2 emissions
1 standard latte - 300 grams of CO2 emissions


Our Data Sources:

How bad are bananas book cover

You should know the results from our calculator are estimates only. They have not been verified by external parties, but we have done our best job to accurately depict the full footprint of a variety of coffee habits.

Our baseline information is the information from the book "How Bad Are Bananas?: The carbon footprint of everything" by Mike Burners-Lee (an English researcher, writer, professor and fellow of the Institute for Social Futures at Lancaster University). From this book we were able to take measurements of: a cup of coffee black and with milk, litre of milk, aluminium, basic plastics, and electricity. We then combined sources from Environment + Energy Leader and Packaging Europe publications to understand the impacts of alternative milks, as well as the differences between compostable, everyday (PET)  plastic, and aluminium capsule packaging.

We combined the above reading with actual material weights of different pods and any other individual wrapping that comes with them, as well as the coffee grounds included in different pods, and average grounds used by baristas for a standard espresso.

What can you do about your coffee carbon footprint?

Add a Starter Pack (pods) to your cart

1. Cutting cow's milk from your coffee reduces your footprint by 80-90% - if you don't want to completely go black, try Oat Milk
2. Switching to Tripod's certified compostable from aluminium can reduce your footprint by nearly 60%
3. Replace coffee with water...this doesn't really help our business but certainly will decrease your coffee footprint