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Bazzara Espresso towards a new goal: to become a B Corp

Efa News interviews Mauro Bazzara, CEO of the company

From 2022 the coffee trees of the "Bazzara Forest" will also grow in Asia. This time it is Nepal's turn, the scene of the latest reforestation action supported by the historic Bazzara Espresso coffee roaster. The initiative is coherently placed within the corporate vision of the coffee company which sees sustainability, understood both as an objective in itself and as a modus operandi, the backbone of a new business paradigm (see article EFA News of 9- 2-22).

EFA News talked about it with Mauro Bazzara, CEO of the company.

"The reforestation initiative implemented in Nepal is important for us not only at the environmental level - especially to help combat global warming and create biodiversity - but also with reference to the impact on the territories and local communities. By choosing to plant trees in particular of coffee, we guarantee a return to the farmers and we also contribute to making the coffee plants and the processes related to harvesting and production better known, increasing awareness towards our particular sector. This is not an isolated action but a project symbolic of a 'widespread forest', on a global level, which we have been pursuing for a couple of years with continuity, and which in turn is part of a sustainable vision of corporate governance", explains the director.

As early as 2020, the Trieste-based family at the top of the company has started a partnership with Treedom to plant coffee trees in Africa and Central America. What have been the fruits, in economic terms and in terms of CO2 saved, of this partnership? 

"We have chosen Treedom as B Corp which has planted over two million trees to date and has involved over 800 thousand people in its reforestation campaign. We believe in interconnections and partnerships for the realization of common goals: this is precisely one of the six 'Sustainable goals' to which, inspired by the guidelines of the 2030 agenda, we are committed to contributing like Bazzara Espresso, together with investments in quality education, climate actions, responsible consumption and production, the promotion of gender equality and to ensure decent work and economic growth", he continues.

"In economic terms, however, we have no return on the investments made to reforest: even if we plant coffee trees, the harvest is entirely left to the local communities because for them it is an important source of sustenance and profit. In terms of Co2, we have made an argument that includes not only other planting actions planned for the current year but also in 2023. The goal is to progressively approach the half thousand trees planted, reaching, by 2024, a minimum compensation of over 30 thousand kg In addition, in the last five months, we have used clean energy made in Italy, avoiding the emission of over 10 thousand kg of Co2. By combining these two actions on an ongoing basis over time, we could offset the annual emissions of almost 50 cars".

What are the other sustainability projects in which Bazzara is involved?

"We currently implement energy saving and 'clean' supply policies, for which we rely on Lifegate Energy, which guarantees 100% renewable, Italian, certified and zero impact sources. We also try to progressively reduce waste and atmospheric emissions, also with a growing attention to the use of raw materials in order to reduce the environmental impact and extend the life cycle. Since last year, thanks to the participation in the Zero Impact Web project, Bazzara Espresso has also contributed to the creation and protection of growing forests in Costa Rica to offset the emissions generated by internet traffic on our site. We have recently completed the Fairtrade certification process, which encourages fair trade, and we have started the procedures to obtain the label of the NGO Rainforest Alliance, a non-governmental organization that deals with rainforests for the purpose of conservation are biodiversity and ensure sustainable living conditions, transforming commercial and land use practices, with the aim of also influencing the behavior of the final consumer. At the local level, we are among the realities that can boast the 'Io Sono Friuli Venezia Giulia' brand, created to help consumers recognize the sustainable products of the regional agri-food chain", continues the CEO.

Are other initiatives in favor of sustainability planned for 2022?

"Soon there will be a good news compared to portioned, and it will go hand in hand with a reduction in consumption generated by freight transport. Before that, we hope to also present our sustainable manifesto, which we have been working on for a few weeks", he comments. "The administrator defines roasting as a multicultural company, with an extremely young average age (just over thirty) and a clear female majority (67%). "We have no prejudices whatsoever, if individual talents marry our corporate mission and vision, the doors are always open", he adds.

Have you taken part in any projects to promote youth employment?

"Any project of this type that we have come to know about. Over the years we have established relationships with the placement of the University of Trieste (city where the company is based), with the local employment office, with training institutions and with the regional work division. We also welcome students for training internships related to business sectors. We also support young people and the women's section of a local rugby team, also because we consider this sport an excellent training ground for life, capable of conveying many values that we share and that we believe are useful in a healthy world of work".

How important is communication to raise awareness among consumers on environmental issues and sustainable production?

"Our company believes and invests heavily in communication, especially as regards the promotion of a new value and sustainable business model. Our information and awareness actions in this regard are constant, through all our channels and at various levels: packaging; the line certified organic by the Institute for ethical and environmental certification Icea and also guaranteed for Agriculture Biologique and Bio Siegel; the involvement of the end customer in the adoption of trees planted with Treedom; adherence to a whole series of sustainable international certifications and to projects that affect the entire supply chain, such as the Slow Coffee Coalition, just to give some practical examples".

The company has also become a Benefit Company, that is a reality that in its statute integrates those with a social and environmental impact to the profit objectives. "Among the purposes of common benefit included in the statute of Bazzara Espresso we naturally find the commitment to the environment, the development of sustainable innovation practices and processes, the attention to produce a positive impact on people and to encourage collaborations and synergies with stakeholders. We have also hypothesized the intentions of action for each sector of intervention, because if we do not then direct ourselves towards concrete goals, it remains a rhetorical exercise. The perspective, in any case, always remains long-term - it is no coincidence that our payoff reads 'Italian Coffee Heritage', and the next goal we are aiming for, and we really care about, is to finally become a B Corp", concludes the administrator of the Trieste coffee roasting.

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EFA News - European Food Agency