Sustainability issues in coffee roasting
In recent years, it’s become increasingly important for roasters to focus on sustainability – in terms of sourcing traceable and ethical coffee, as well as their environmental impact. Although the coffee industry’s sustainability efforts tend to focus more on production and coffee shops, it’s also important that we consider other aspects of the supply chain, including roasting. In line with this, more and more roasters are working to reduce their emissions, as well as their costs, by investing in more efficient and sustainable machines. “During the roasting process, several gases are released into the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxide – as well as dust,” Lorenzo explains. “In larger quantities, these gases and particulates are harmful to human health and the environment.” For coffee professionals who often work in close proximity to roasters, prolonged exposure to these gases and particulates can be dangerous. Moreover, carbon emissions are known to have a significant impact on global warming. With the effects of climate change becoming increasingly prevalent, it’s essential that roasters look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Research shows that global warming is having a significant impact on coffee production: experts predict that up to 50% of the world’s suitable coffee-growing land could decrease in size and suitability by 2050.