Jon Stanford explains how his Shropshire-based company Apostle Coffee became one of the UK’s only carbon-neutral coffee businesses.
Surrounded by cardboard boxes all across the floor and shelves, Jon Stanford is sitting in what looks like a wooden shed, by a medieval footpath called Apostle’s Way, which leads to a church. “An apostle is a champion of something. They gather around an ideal and are passionate about something. That could be Jesus,” he tells me, and then smiles. “For us, it’s good coffee.”
That’s where the coffee company gets its name from. Apostle Coffee is a small, family-run roastery based in Shropshire. And it’s amongst the UK’s only carbon-neutral coffee businesses.
“Our business practices are completely carbon-negative, so anything we’re meant to send out of here is carbon-neutral,” explains Stanford, Apostle’s co-founder. Alongside the trees Apostle plants to offset its footprint, it offers regular subscribers a chance to have their personalised, individual tree planted in its Shropshire forest. Every tree absorbs a ton of carbon, which is about 10% of an individual’s annual emissions.
How do Stanford and his team account for one-off purchases? “Every year we have our carbon emissions calculated, and we always plant more trees than we need to, to offset that. And anything we sell within that year will have been attributed to our overall tree-planting scheme for the year.”
Currently, Apostle exclusively plants Black Poplar trees, as they’re one of the UK’s most endangered species. “But that’s not to say that we won’t—” Stanford pauses, “branch out to other plants and varieties.” He laughs, and continues: “The world is our oyster when it comes to nice trees. No such thing as a bad tree.”
Read the full interview on The Vegan Review