In February of 2006 the McCullagh Coffee Board of Directors voted to achieve “best in class sustainability” in time for the 150th anniversary of the Company, a milestone that will be achieved in 2017. While significant progress has already been made, McCullagh recognizes that sustainability, like quality, is a journey, not an end. CEO Warren Emblidge Jr. was a driving force in an early attempt to create a WNY sustainability network, and McCullagh is excited that the group has not only been revived but has significantly expanded under the leadership of UB and Erie County.
From McCullagh’s perspective sustainability is just good business sense. “Reducing waste saves money and improves operational efficiency” says President Warren Emblidge III. “It results in leaner operations and reduced energy costs, all which result in an improved competitive position. And, of course, it’s just the right thing to do”. Accomplishments include reducing waste diversion to landfill by over 50%, with further plans to reduce and recycle even more waste. This was accomplished by better segregation of papers and cardboard, and a near 100% diversion of organics to community garden composting and landscaping use.
McCullagh also retired it’s fuel gulping delivery trucks with 5 fuel efficient Sprinter vans. The new vans have resulted in fuel savings approaching $100 K, and the savings are further enhanced by scheduling and route mapping software.
On a product development level McCullagh pioneered the first line of sustainable coffees in certified compostable “frac pacs”, with the launch of Rainforest Alliance certified Ecoverde coffees in 2009. The Ecoverde line now boasts five additional premium grade single origin coffees that are certified Fair Trade and organic.
In the summer of this year, a new line of teas will be launched featuring 100% compostable tea bags and packaging and organic teas. Ecoverde Sales and Product Manager Jeffery Oliver states “consumers want to know that the products they buy minimize environmental impacts, and are healthy for their family. Something as simple as choosing a sustainable agricultural product in environmentally responsible packaging is an easy way to make a difference”.
As a member of the WNY Sustainable Business Roundtable McCullagh is delighted to have access to training resources which are part of an ongoing member capability building program. In addition, the networking opportunities will encourage the exchange of best practices and expertise with other companies. The Pledge, which was signed by President Warren Emblidge III, is the roadmap for McCullagh’s sustainability strategy looking out to the 2017 celebrations and beyond.