Team members at The Warehouse Group’s Store Support Office will now bring their own reusable cups to satisfy espresso cravings, as the retailer will no longer offer single-use coffee cups at its Northcote Store Support Office. The change will save an estimated 100,000 coffee cups per year.
David Benattar, The Warehouse Group Chief Sustainability Officer said although it was a simple action, it could have a big impact, especially if other organisations followed suit. “Washing and reusing your cup only takes a minute and if we all did it, it could make a big difference to the environment.
“Globally, around 16 billion disposable coffee cups are used each year and only a fraction are recycled, with most ending up in landfill. New Zealanders use around 295 million of these cups. We may have invented the flat white but now we need to get inventive with ideas to reduce waste.”
David Benattar said some environmentally-conscious team-members had already adopted a reusable vessel for their caffeine fix and the café provided a discount for BYO mugs, but he favoured removing the disposable option completely to drive positive behaviour change.
“With an on-site café and coffee kiosk, people can easily bring their own cups or use one of the mugs from the team kitchens. It’s an easy change for our team and hopefully it encourages other organisations and individuals to do the same.”
The Group’s offices on Auckland’s North Shore support 258 The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming and Torpedo7 stores across New Zealand. The building houses over 1200 people who drink around 400 take-out coffees from the onsite café and coffee kiosk each day.
Ditching the cups isn’t the only sustainable initiative at the building, says David Benattar. The office also composts 100% of its organic waste, team members are welcome to use one of six complimentary e-bikes; or park their electric vehicle at one of four free chargers.
David Benattar says The Group is currently reviewing plastic and packaging across all its products and stores to look at ways it could reduce unnecessary waste. The Warehouse no longer sells plastic straws, and has replaced single-use plastic checkout bags with re-useable options, with net proceeds going to benefit New Zealand charities.
The Warehouse Group announced it had achieved CarboNZero accreditation in February, the first large organisation in the country to do so.