By Shaun Galliagn, Director of Environmental, Health & Safety at James Finlay Americas
Implementing Sustainable Agricultural Practices at Finlays Americas
As a business which relies heavily upon agriculture for its primary ingredients, at Finlays Americas we feel it is necessary to place a high prominence on operating in an environmentally conscious manner. One of our core values as an organization is to focus on sustainability initiatives, including with our ground coffee and coffee residue, so that we may protect the air, water, and soil to ensure that our supply chain remains uninhibited.
Finlays Americas’ Rhode Island manufacturing location is a registered ISO 14001:2015 organization – a globally recognized standard for environmental management. The standard helps organizations develop a management system to ensure compliance and address environmental aspects associated with an organization’s processes to reduce their overall environmental impact.
As part of our certified environmental management system, we aim to reduce our waste streams contributions to the landfills by finding alternative solutions for our operational outputs. In 2022, our Lincoln – Rhode Island facility diverted approximately 2,360 metric tons of spent coffee grounds, which is our largest waste stream, from contributing to landfill consumption.
Green Waste: Utilising Used Coffee Grounds for Plants
Through a partnership with a local farm, twenty minutes north of our Lincoln facility, spent coffee grounds which we categorize as ‘green waste’, are transported to the farm where it undergoes a three-year transformation. Finlays coffee grounds are used as a component in a mixture, which after three years, becomes compost to fertilize the land. The fertilized farm then begins the process of growing corn, where they produce and harvest from approximately 35,000 acres annually, and hay which they harvest over 800- 1,000-pound bales each year.
Finlays Americas continues its quest of not only operating in an environmentally compliant manner, but also acting as environmental stewards within the communities we operate. We are now evaluating how we may reduce additional waste streams such as carboard and plastic, while also striving to reduce our carbon emissions.