Glasgow-based Dear Green coffee roasters has gained coveted B Corp status - rubber-stamping its position as one of the country’s most ethical enterprises.
This move has raised the hopes of it founder, Lisa Lawson, as she would like her company to be the coffee supplier for the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, which takes place in the city later this year.
Dear Green now sits alongside internationally renowned brands including Innocent, Patagonia and The Body Shop in earning the B Corp accolade.
The company, which recently celebrated its ninth birthday, was founded by Lisa when she became frustrated by how staff, producers, customers and the environment were treated by the industry.
Dear Green has been dedicated to putting social and environmental responsibility, sustainability and purpose ahead of profit ever since.
Joining Scottish brands Bruichladdich, Brewgooder and Beauty Kitchen as a B Corp, Dear Green has volunteered to be graded by the non-profit B Lab each year to ensure it continues to meet its rigorous social and environmental standards.
The company, based in Glasgow’s East End, not only guarantees its staff are never underpaid, undervalued or discriminated against, with a firm commitment to paying the Real Living Wage, but it also goes above and beyond to maintain an ethical supply chain.
Lisa vowed to build a business dedicated to fairness and equality from cultivation to the cup after seeing some of the best, and worst, practices imaginable during her own employment experiences and visits to some of the world’s poorest coffee-producing regions.
In the time since, the Dear Green team has regularly visited coffee communities, from Brazil and Colombia to Ethiopia and Burundi on ‘origin trips’, ensuring a rigid sourcing process that is fair, traceable and sustainable.
Lisa, who is from Glasgow, hopes her organisation can set an example that prompts a shift towards greater accountability and transparency in business.
She said: "Gaining B Corp certification is one of our proudest moments at Dear Green.
"To have the ethical standards which are intrinsically in the culture of the company audited and verified to be of the highest standard is incredible.
"Having a template to improve on what we already have in place is an exciting prospect for us.
“This year has had its complexities and challenges and has resulted in us navigating a fragile new economic outlook. It has been a tough year to be in business.
"To finish 2020 knowing that we are now part of the supportive B Corp community which will help us to put even more purpose before profit gives renewed focus to the next part of our coffee roasting journey.
“Nevermore than now has our community, our team, our customers, our supply chain and our environment been positioned as a driver for success in business.
"We're proud to have this as our prime consideration in every transaction we make with absolute transparency.
"We hope we can serve as an example to businesses in Glasgow, Scotland and beyond by producing quality coffee, without sacrificing ethical practices."
Kate Sandle, director of programmes and engagement of B Lab UK, the not-for-profit behind the B Corp movement, added: “Business is a powerful force, and one that can be used for good.
"Welcoming Dear Green is an exciting moment because they have an opportunity to lead the way within the coffee industry.
"We and the rest of the B Corp community are really pleased to support Dear Green in paving the way for a new way of doing things.
"Dear Green’s commitment to doing business differently is an inspiration to others and can help spread the idea that we can redefine success in business to be as much about people and planet as it is about profit."
With the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, taking place in Glasgow next year, Dear Green is one Glasgow-based business that has been committed to environmental sustainability long before it dominated the news agenda.
As well as using second-hand when possible, it has also invested in new energy-efficient technology.
All packaging is biodegradable, and processes are constantly refined to reduce carbon output.
In 2018, the company organised the world’s first single-use, cup free, coffee festival.
Lisa added: “If this doesn’t put Dear Green on the radar for COP26, nothing will!”