we are diverse
PRODUCTION OF THE SUSTAINABILITY REPORT
MATERIAL: Cover and inside pages made from recycled material/fibres, FSC ® -certified
FORMAT: Minimisation of material waste by optimum sheet utilisation
BINDING: open thread binding without staples
Printing ink: recyclable
Coffee Fellows GmbH
Step by step towards the
green coffeeshop. From an
entrepreneurial as well as
a humanitarian point of
view, it is a matter close
to our hearts to act as a
role model in terms of
do we review
our internal processes and procedures,
but also involve our suppliers, logistic
support providers and guests. Everyone
is challenged to rethink and
sustainably optimise their way
We are a large team and every single employee
makes an important contribution
to achieving our goals. For one thing is
clear: Together we manage to get better
every day, step by step. We would like to
thank you for your support!
We want to assume our enormous responsibility towards the environment
as well as support a general rethinking in society. As a family
business, we also think about our children and grandchildren. We want
them to grow up in an unpolluted environment.
„We can say with a clear
conscience that we give a lot of
thought to our social and
Dr. Stefan Tewes
A BIG WORD WITH
Many companies confidently claim to act sustainably in every respect.
But if you look a little closer, you are often bitterly disappointed.
We deliberately want to avoid disillusioning
our guests. Therefore our
motto first and foremost is to create
transparency by communicating quite
openly and honestly.
Our Coffee Fellows Team at the head office.
a boss matter
Our founders and owners are 100%
behind the sustainability projects. This
year, we have created the position of a
sustainability manager. Our projects are
driven forward in direct coordination
with the management.
Many heads have more ideas.
In order to find as many starting
points and ways of implementation
as possible to improve the environment,
we have founded the Sustainability
Project Group. Our team
work is now driving the
FARM TO CUP
Drying the coffee
For us, the term “From Farm
to Cup“ stands for corporate
responsibility. We want to be
involved in the entire value
chain of our core product and
determine the origin of our coffee ourselves. Since the
summer of 2019, we have therefore no longer sourced our
Arabica beans anonymously via world market exchanges,
but directly from coffee farmers in Tanzania.
The farmers of
are loading the
coffee sacks onto
The smallholders‘ harvest is
weighed before it is handed
over to the cooperative
Fair means paying appropriately
for the quality and
high effort that goes into a
kilogram of beans. So far, the
bean has been used in the
blend of our Café Crème.
We know the farmers personally and maintain a
respectful and long-standing relationship with them.
We guarantee them a secure purchase of the
beans and pay them a fair price per kilo.
Stefan Tewes planting his first
In addition, we always keep our eyes and ears
open to understand the social problems and
everyday challenges of the
workers. We would like to
take on social responsibility
in the future by providing
local support. We think that
is fair, because after all, we
enjoy their coffee!
On our last trip to
Tanzania we were able
to get to know a
more original type of
that organise themselves
The farmers often wait for months until their beans are
brokered via the mill, and the agents and they finally
receive their wages. That is why it is important to us to
buy our Arabica beans directly from the private cooperative
The owner of an organic
plantation, affectionately called “Mama
Bente“, plays a decisive role. With her
expertise, Bente supports the local
smallholders, helping them to be selfreliant
In private cooperatives, every coffee farmer, no
matter how “small“, hands in his basket of
coffee beans for weighing every day at
harvest time. This way, even people
with little acreage and equipment
have a chance to turn their
beans into money.
Coffee Fellows pays the farmers 50
cents more for a kilo of coffee beans
than they would receive on the world
market exchange at the time.
We support the farmers by paying them in advance to
ensure a more regular income, which in turn is
important for the farmers to be able to
finance, among other things, fertilisers.
The seedling is
planted, and after
about 3 years the first
After about 9 months, when the
cherries have reached their perfect
degree of ripeness, they are ideally
harvested by hand.
Wet processing and natural drying:
The fruit flesh is separated from the
core. The slime layer is then washed
off in the fermentation tank.
The coffee bags from the countries of origin, such as Tanzania,
are shipped in containers. Once they arrive in the port of
Hamburg, they are unloaded and taken to our coffee roasting
plant in Bergisch Gladbach.
The beans are dried on large tables by
the natural heat of the sun.
The parchment skin and the dried pulp
are separated from the bean, after which
they are packed into bags.
The money is directly transferred from
us to the farmers of a small, private
and sustainable cooperative. We pay
higher prices than usual in return for
With our portafilter machines,
each coffee speciality is prepared
by hand by our baristas.
The perfect roast
The beans are gently roasted in a long-lasting
roasting process to bring out the unique flavours
from each individual bean.
The new flavour
The blends of high-quality beans specially
created for Coffee Fellows make our
1,032 tons of CO ²
We wanted to know what
impact our actions have on the
Specifically: How much CO ²
we emit? For our big goal is to
compensate for these emissions.
With the help of experts,
we have been able to determine
that we emit 1,032 tons
of CO ²
annually through the use of heating, electricity and vehicles
(so-called Scope 1+2).
CO 2 -footprint
on 13 hectares
Many companies are now offering
reforestation as a service. But here, too,
we chose the direct, easy-to-understand
and, for us, much more sustainable way.
In order to compensate for this
amount of CO ²
, we would have
to reforest about 13 hectares of
land, according to the experts
This corresponds to the area of
13 football fields or the planting
of about 28,000 trees.
The “Coffee Fellows Forest“
will consist of 20 different
local trees, some of which also
bear fruit and can thus be used
The stock of the forest is
checked annually. If
seedlings or trees have not
survived, they are replanted.
Thus, after 20 years, we can
proudly claim to have offset
our CO ²
emissions for 2019.
Together with a local advisor, we went to Malawi in
search of suitable land for the Coffee Fellows
reforestation project. Near Ntchisi, we were able to lease
13 hectares of land from 5 farmers. For 20 years, we
will give these farmers an annual rent and thus secure
With the beginning of the rainy season,
our 28,000 seedlings are planted.
In this way, we create jobs for many
In the coming years, we will
reforest 13 hectares in Malawi
each year. This corresponds to
an area of 13 football fields.
As we also want to offset our environmental
impact through reforestation in the
coming years, the “Coffee Fellows Forest“
will not only grow in height, but also in
area, while still providing
employment and income for many
people in Ntchisi.
TO GO cups
In close cooperation with our supplier, we have been developing
new, innovative packaging alternatives for to-go needs
since autumn 2018. We are very happy to be able to offer our
guests more environmentally friendly packaging.
We are particularly proud of our plasticfree
and 100% home-compostable to-go cups.
wood fibre lid
Since the cups no longer
have a PLA coating, they
can even be disposed of
in the domestic organic
waste or compost heap in
drinking straw made
from sugar cane
100% home compostable
Savings from 2018 to 2019
Compared to conventional alternatives, the cups
are made exclusively from cardboard. The cellulose
for the cardboard of our Earth Cups® comes from
Under Temperature conditions
of 20-30°C, a cup is completely
degraded after 26 weeks.
Our lids are now also plastic-free and are
made from the natural material cellulose
in a resource-saving way. After use, the
moulded fibre lids are recyclable,
biodegradable or compostable. Each
plastic lid that is replaced saves
about 2-3g of plastic.
In addition, today we only use recycled
napkins and wooden cutlery.
Upon request, our guests receive a
certified bio-based straw with their
cold drink. As we are of the opinion
that straws are far too good to be
thrown away after a maximum of
5 minutes of drinking fun due to
their resource-intensive production,
we no longer hand out straws for
circulation does the trick
By switching the bottles of all Coffee Fellows
soft drinks to 100% recycled PET, we can
save approximately 33 tons of newly produced
plastic per year.
rePet is nothing more than material
made from collected, used
and recycled beverage bottles.
Savings from 2019 to 2020
For the sake of the environment, we
have taken our Clear Cups out of the
range altogether. This change saves
about 15 tons of polyethylene per year.
saviNG FOiL in
By switching to natural napkins, we have already taken a big step.
However, the new manufacturer delivered 40 napkins packed in
foil. We quickly received feedback from our colleagues in the shops
that we needed to improve this.
2019 to 2020
» 78 cows
» 1 blue whale
Together with our supplier,
we developed a packaging
solution without film.
With this change alone, we
were able to save 165 kg of
film packaging in 2020.
» 13 elephants
Through these measures, we save 78
tons of conventional plastic in the
to-go sector every year.
has dawned on us
LET‘S FACE IT, SAVING ELECTRICITY ALSO
MEANS SAVING COSTS.
But it is nice that goals can be combined: early on,
we converted our lighting systems from fluorescent
tubes to LED technology. We were pleased to
discover that this investment enabled us to reduce
electricity consumption by 80%.
All colleagues at the company headquarters use
„Ecosia“, the ecological search engine. While we surf the
net safely and anonymously, we are at the same time
doing something against climate change. Ecosia runs on
servers that are powered entirely by electricity from renewable
energy sources and are therefore CO ²
large part of the advertising revenue goes to projects for
the reforestation of forests. For us, it is a great feeling to
plant a tree with every search.
By switching to green electricity,
we were able to reduce our CO ²
emissions by 50%.
CO 2 EMISSIONs
Around 95% of our
own shops in Germany
green electricity from
on our skin
The job as a barista is often quite
stressful. It is therefore very important
to us that our colleagues feel
comfortable in their skin. That is
why we place particular emphasis
on comfortable textiles that are free
of harmful substances. The Coffee
Fellows uniforms (shirts, blouses,
aprons) are certified according to the
Ökotex Standard 100, which means
that the textiles could also be worn
on baby skin.
with a SYSTEM
Many of our shops are RECUP partners.
You get your coffee to-go in a RECUP
deposit cup and can return it to all RECUP
partners throughout Germany.
More and more of our coffee
shops are partners of Too Good
To Go. We have already been able
to save many bags filled with
perfectly good bagels, sandwiches,
muesli and cakes from being
23 tons of CO 2
= e.g. 105 flights Berlin - London
„If the bees disappear, humans
have only four years to live; no
more bees, no more plants, no
more animals, no more humans.“
With this quote from Einstein, the incredible
importance of bees for our earth becomes
suddenly clear. Reason enough to learn more
about these important little animals.
It quickly became clear who could assist us as an expert.
Hubert M., the father of a young colleague, is a passionate
hobby beekeeper and a long-standing member of the beekeepers‘ association.
Together we were able to realise our idea of keeping our own Coffee Fellows bee colonies.
All preparations are underway and when the meadows and trees blossom in spring, our busy
Coffee Fellows bees fly through the air.
COFFEE TO STAY
Sustainable solutions are sought
for all processes, not only in
our coffee shops but also in our
Coffee Fellows Hotel.
Coffee Fellows Hotel in Dortmund
Our favourite thing would be for guests
to escape the stress of everyday life
and enjoy a cup of coffee at our coffee
shop in peace. Not only does this help to
avoid waste, but also rewards them with
a special moment of enjoyment.
We are proud to
have been awarded the
GreenSign LEVEL 4 Certificate
for these efforts.
We believe that conscious nutrition doesn‘t
have to mean sacrificing, but rather a good
balance. At Coffee Fellows, you can start your
day with a fibre-rich wholemeal bread, muesli
or a bowl full of vitamins. With our sweet treats
like a mini muffin with your cup of coffee,
you can also do something good for your soul
every now and then..
For many people, a sustainable and health-conscious lifestyle
is linked to a vegan or vegetarian diet. We too believe
that our vegetarian bagels taste at least as good as the
Happy cows give the best milk. Animal welfare is
particularly important to us when it comes to our
important product component, milk.
With us you drink organic
milk from cows that graze on
natural of course
We pay special attention to the reduction of
additives in our products. Wherever possible,
we refrain from using preservatives and
colourings in order to guarantee the
most genuine taste possible.
Not only for the
benefit of the
animals, but also
for the sake of the
environment, we are
constantly expanding our vegan
and vegetarian product range.
In 2017/2018, we were awarded
by proveg for being the
veggie-friendliest coffee shop
chain in Germany.
into the net
We have switched our fish purchasing
to 100% ACS certified salmon. The fish
comes from sustainable fisheries and
»WE ARE DIVERSE«
Whether you are returning to
work, a first- or eighth-semester
student, a coffee specialist
or a high-flyer: with our flexible
part-time models, we can find a
solution for everyone.
As family people, we are
particularly proud to be
able to support mothers
and fathers in returning
we never stop
We always want to get a little better
in order to offer the best quality.
This is our motto. To ensure that all
members of our Coffee Fellows family
can continue their education, we
offer a comprehensive training
For only satisfied, well-trained staff can make our guest feel at home.
on the bike
Many of our colleagues already come to the
office by bike. As an employer, we want to
support this initiative and offer our employees
job bikes: The colleague chooses his or her
desired bike from a specialist dealer, we lease
the job bike and leave it to the employees. This
way, our employees not only stay fit, but also
protect the environment.
For us it is self-evident
that regardless of age,
gender or origin, equal
work is remunerated with
FEEL AT HOME
“Feel at home“:
This has been our credo since the
opening of the first shop. We want our
guests and also our employees to feel
at home with us.
ASC is the abbreviation for “Aquaculture
Stewardship Council“. The seal identifies fish from
sustainably managed aquaculture companies.
Quality and test seal for organic products. In the
European Union, all organic food bears the EU
An association of small farmers who jointly market
their coffee harvest. Fair and transparent purchase
contracts are the key to the cooperative‘s success.
Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR is a component
of the corporate philosophy. It deals with the voluntary
responsibility of a company for its actions and their
effects in terms of social, ecological goals and
Refers to the endeavour to have as little harmful
influence as possible on the climate and its
Direct traded coffee means transparency, i.e.
knowing where the coffee comes from and who
grew it. Through direct negotiations with the coffee
farmers, they receive a much higher purchase price.
Also referred to as “greenhouse gas neutrality“. A
term for processes that do not cause greenhouse
gas emissions or whose emissions can be compensated
and thus have no climate-damaging effects or
Also called carbon footprint.
The amount of CO 2 emissions that a person causes
per year. The larger the footprint, the higher the
emissions. The calculated sustainable annual budget
of a human being is 2.3 tons of CO 2 . In Germany,
however, the average value is 12.5 tons per person (as
of 2019). Nutrition is an important factor and
accounts for between 20 and 30 percent of personal
CO 2 emissions.
Composting of bioplastics is only possible under
certain conditions in industrial composting factories. For
this reason, disposal in the yellow bag is recommended.
Bioplastic bags cannot decompose on the compost heap
at home because the right moisture and temperature
conditions do not exist there.
The ecological footprint puts the available and
consumed resource capacites into perspective.
Based on the resources consumed, it shows how much
biologically productive area was needed for this. This is
therefore also considered a sustainablity indicator.
Ecosia is an ecological search engine based in Berlin.
Since 2009, Ecosia users can actively contribute to
growing forests. A large part of the surplus profit
generated by advertising is invested in forest
conservation projects. According to the operators, a
new tree is planted every 1.1 seconds.
Emission of disruptive factors into the environment,
such as CO 2 .
Farm to Cup
From the coffee farmer to the coffee cup, every step
along the way of coffee production is transparently
Produced food or resources that are destroyed
along the entire value chain, i.e. from the field to the
plate. Reasons for this are incorrect storage, overproduction
or oversupply, poorly planned
purchasing or exceeded best-before dates.
LEDs stand for “light-emitting diodes“ and are
electronic semiconductor components that convert
electricity directly into light. LED lamps have a
number of advantages: Among other things, they do
not contain any substances that are hazardous to
health, such as mercury, and the eco-balance is also
extremely positive due to low power consumption.
Abbreviation for “Forest Stewardship Council®”.
The FSC® is an international non-profit organisation
in the segment of certification of sustainable forestry.
The sea is normally in a state of equilibrium. However,
around 10 million tons of waste end up in the sea
every year, which disturbs the ecological balance. Plastic
waste in particular poses an omnipresent threat to fish,
birds and marine mammals. -> Each year, around 100,000
birds and marine animals die as a result of plastic pollution.
Greenhouse gases are responsible for the
greenhouse effect. In this process, parts of the longwave
heat radiation are absorbed by the earth‘s
surface as well as by clouds. The effect prevents heat
from escaping into space and is thus responsible for
our warm climate. Without it, it would be freezing cold
on Earth and human life would no longer be possible.
This natural greenhouse effect has been intensified by
humans since the industrialisation, among other
things by burning fossil fuels. This is called the
anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse effect. It
causes the average temperature to rise and has a
negative effect on the global climate.
Even though there is no uniform definition, microplastics
are plastic particles that are smaller than five
millimetres in diameter. They are created by the
decomposition of larger plastic parts, such as plastic
bags. According to estimates there are 1.4 trillion
microplastic particles floating in the oceans right now.
These particles are not biodegradable and pose a
great threat to the marine organism. Via fish and
other sea animals, plastic enters the human food
chain. Ultimately, it is the human body that absorbs
the health hazards.
PET is the abbreviation for “polyethylene terephthalate“.
PET bottles are produced from petroleum.
These containers are more stable and thickerwalled
than disposable bottles and can be used
around 20 times.
Plastic is the colloquial term for synthetic material.
This substance does not occur in nature and must
therefore be produced artificially using the fossil
fuel petroleum. It is very durable and does not disintegrate
like natural substances, but breaks down
into smaller particles over and over again. This
dissolution process takes at least 450 years.
The annual deforestation of tropical rainforests has
increased immensely in recent years. Causes include
logging for paper and furniture, conversion into oil
palm or soy plantations, cattle grazing, exploitation
of mineral resources or the construction of large
dams. Rainforests are crucial to the earth‘s life cycle
because they produce a large part of the needed
oxygen. However, deforestation releases vast
amounts of carbon dioxide that is stored in the
The term is used here as “environmental
It is a form of waste recycling. As with “recycling“, a
waste product is reused. In the case of upcycling, the
product is clearly upgraded in quality and sometimes
not only reused but even reimagined. “up“ = “upwards“
Photo credits: shutterstock.com, pixabay.com, dirkbruniecki.de, amelie-niederbuchner.de