Sprout co-founder Steve Joy talks about their journey to BCorp (part 2)

Following on from our last post, Steve talks about the future of office coffee and how businesses can further their sustainability efforts in simple but effective ways.

What are some of the positive trends you’ve seen in the office coffee industry over the years?

More and more customers are starting to prioritise sustainability and ethical sourcing alongside other factors. They’re considering it a ‘must have’ rather than just an after-thought. I believe this will filter through and change the whole coffee market in time.

What would you like to see happen in the office coffee industry over the next ten years?

I think customers are already moving away from disposable solutions like single-use cups, plastic cutlery and coffee pods. They want solutions that are cost effective but also sustainable and ethical. I’d like to see this happen across the board with more offices across Australia making sustainable choices.

Do you think businesses have the ability to rise to the sustainability challenge?

Yes. I’m optimistic because I’m already seeing customers drive change and ask questions about sustainability and our supply chain. They want to know where their money is being spent and what their suppliers are doing about sustainability. This is true across all industries and while some will be slower than others, when people start making decisions because they care about how they’re spending their money, better decisions will be made for the future.

 What’s your biggest concern about our ability to create a more sustainable world?

My biggest concern is the continued prioritising of making or saving money over protecting the environment. Price is a major factor in business, but we need to balance it against our impact on the environment and the welfare of the people and communities within our supply chains. In time we all have to make this change. BCorps are a setting a great example and are growing in number. It’s encouraging to see how many people and businesses are starting to drive the change. But there’s still a long way to go.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d offer to other businesses wanting to reduce waste to landfill or plastic waste?

People don’t like big changes. Start small with something tangible and achievable. An initiative as simple as no disposable cups in the office has a big impact on the way people think about waste – and that flows through to other aspects of the business. Once people realise that changes don’t have to be massive to have an impact, behaviour change becomes so much easier. As Anne Marie Bonneau, aka the Zero Waste Chef says, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

 

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