Reduce your carbon footprint using a clean and clever approach to energy

The Coffee Decarbonisation Pathway is a programme designed to provide all New Zealand coffee roasters with access to free tools and resources specifically for the sector, as well opportunities to collaborate.

The programme is being developed with industry experts and support from the New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association.

Decarbonising coffee roasting in New Zealand

New Zealand has a vibrant cafe culture and a global reputation for high quality roasts and skilled baristas. With close to 200 coffee roasters there is a variety of speciality beans, blends, and brews for consumers to choose from.

Coffee roasting is a fast-growing sector, with imports of green beans into New Zealand doubling since 2003. This indicates an increase in market share for fresh roasted coffee. But with coffee roasting increasing, so too are the emissions attributable to the sector.

In New Zealand, fossil fuel use for the average batch of beans is responsible for an estimated 80% of process related emissions. A survey by EECA suggests coffee roasting likely contributes about 4kTCO2e primarily from the use of natural gas during the roasting process. In a coffee roastery gas is responsible for the majority of the emissions.

NZ green coffee imports by year

Source: New Zealand green coffee imports by year (1000 60 KG bags) (

The coffee industry is not immune to the effects of climate change. Most notably, due to rising fuel and importation costs of green beans, and the warming climate and increased rainfall decreasing availability. This is backed up by international research published in PLOS One(external link) that found coffee beans, compared with crops such as avocado and almond trees, are particularly vulnerable to the changing climate. There is evidence predicting a decline in crop yield in coffee-growing nations globally by 2050. Estimates relating to increases in temperature likely mean the number of regions suitable for growing coffee will drop by half.

Small steps taken by coffee roasteries across New Zealand will help reduce the impact of the industry on the climate, future proof businesses and look after our people and the environment.

Objectives of the pathway

  • Support coffee roasters with reducing energy related emissions at a sector level through tailored tools and resources.
  • Simplify the process of reducing individual business emissions through a guided pathway and support.
  • Connect New Zealand coffee roasters with world-class innovation and best-practice guidance.

Who can sign up?

The tools and resources produced for the Coffee Decarbonisation Pathway are being designed for New Zealand coffee roasters alongside industry experts. Any coffee roastery in New Zealand will be able to access these resources for free.

Register your interest and we’ll keep you updated with pathway resources as soon as they’re ready.

Register your interest

Decarbonising is another way for coffee roasters to innovate and future-proof their operations.

Scott Pepler, New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association

Benefits to coffee roasters

Reduce costs

Improving energy efficiency can reduce the cost of operations and energy as well as help prepare for the rising cost of high emissions activities under the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Reducing the demand for these fossil fuels offers a key opportunity to both reduce costs and emissions in a roastery.

Create value

Improving processes and equipment can lead to an increase in productivity and decreasing your business’s impact on the environment can also drive customer interest. Coffee drinkers are already switched on to ethical coffee production and fairtrade. There is increasingly also interest in the impact that the roasting process has on the environment and mitigation efforts of roasters.

Further, reducing the demand for fossil fuels offers an opportunity for cost efficiencies.

Future proofing

Collaborative, proactive solutions can reduce competition between businesses for the same services, resources, and opportunities – reducing costs and ensuring business continuity in a low carbon future.

The Emissions Reduction Plan 2022 has set a target to produce a Gas Transition Plan by the end of 2023, which will set out a transition pathway from fossil gas. Coffee roasters can begin to prepare for this transition through implementing changes that reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.

Tools and resources for New Zealand coffee roasters

Explore our resources for NZ coffee roasters and begin your decarbonisation journey.

Kōkako says ‘Hello’ to low-carbon operations

Kōkako Organic Coffee Roasters is at the forefront of a low-emissions coffee roasting sector in Aotearoa.

Managing Director, Mike Murphy, says business has a leadership role to play in changing habits and driving positive change when it comes to sustainability and reducing carbon emissions.