Who are The Most Sustainable Coffee Roasters In The Uk? (2023)

Here at RISE coffee box we are incredibly passionate about sustainability and protecting The Planet. RiSE coffee box take on the responsibility of researching each and every coffee roaster that we feature, so you can be rest assured that the coffee you are drinking has all the right sustainable ethics in place. You can read over our Sustainability page to find out more about our complete approach to sustainability. We are also in the planning stages for applying for 1% for the Planet and B-Corp, aiming to have these accreditations in place in 2023!

There are a number of criteria we look for when searching for our roasters, including where the coffee is sourced from, how many actors there are in the value chain, the price paid for coffee and how sustainably it is roasted and packaged. There are so many roasters doing exceptional things when it comes to sustainability, and below is our shortlist based on our relationships and research over the past few years…! We’d love to hear any other suggestions or thoughts in the comments.

First up is…

Origin coffee roasters - B corp cerified

Origin coffee roasters, based in Cornwall, pride themselves on setting the standard when it comes to sustainability. Their three values are: Transparency, Sustainability and Respect. Origin were proudly awarded B-corp status in 2020 with a verified score of 81.9, which is testament to their journey. They have even set a target to improve that score, to 120 points. When it comes to sourcing, they have created their own model for Direct Trade which “works around price, contract, and relationship, building a long-term, sustainable partnership that benefits all, supporting the producers or mill partners we work with directly, and ensuring the highest standards and quality throughout the supply chain”. We found this really refreshing as there is so much confusion regarding definitions of Direct Trade in the industry. Their mindset is long term and they will continue to operate as an ethically minded business for as long as they are operating. It’s definitely worth checking out the “Impact” section of their website, which has a lot more interesting information on all topics relating to sustainably and ethically sourcing and roasting coffee.


Conscious with coffee - Transparency

Culainn and Lea are the founders of Conscious with Coffee and are very passionate about their unique ethos to sourcing coffee. Their approach is to create supply chains that are sustainable, equitable and financially viable for every actor involved - and to give visibility of this supply chain to their customers in the most transparent way they can. On their website you'll find transparent information about the price paid for coffee cherries, from their farmers in Peru all the way to their warehouse, which helps not only to educate coffee drinkers about the end-to-end process of sourcing coffee, but helps us to stop and think about the priced we pay and the impact that has on the farmer who grew the bean. Definitely worth a read!

Conscious coffee roasters

Climpsons and sons - Well Rounded Ethics

We’ve worked with Climpson and Sons a few times over the past few years and have always been struck by their genuine passion for the multi-faceted topic of sustainability. In fact, here’s what they say about their approach: “It's not just a buzzword to us. Our vision is to integrate sustainable development into every aspect of our business, rather than simply putting a checkmark next to the box for ‘sustainability’”. They also talk about the importance of three core elements: economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection - which are crucial to not only their success, but the industry as a whole. Climpson have many initiatives and processes in place to deliver on their vision, but the core areas they currently talk about focusing on are: paying a fair price, environment at source, energy, waste, packing and shipping and last but not least, social sustainability. We’re super proud to have worked with such a humble and ambitious roaster and look forward to hearing more about their impact in the future.

Exhale coffee - B corp and lab tested

If you haven’t heard of Exhale Coffee before, they are the leaders in the industry when it comes to the health and fitness category of coffee. Their coffee is organically farmed and goes through various lab tests to discard any coffee that has harmful contaminants like mycotoxins and pesticides. They also pride themselves on ethically sourcing their coffee and have achieved multiple certifications including B Corp. They are plastic free, and have recently changed their coffee bags to 450 grams to further reduce waste! Worth a read in more detail on their Sustainability page. A B-corp coffee company we love!


Press coffee & Co - GOING THE EXTRA MILE

Press Coffee & Co are one of our favourite roasters, based in our old stomping ground - Herne Hill (London). Owner and Founder, Andy, is very passionate about sustainability and really goes the extra mile when it comes to making decisions about how the business runs day to day. Not only does Andy have an electric van, he hand delivers the majority of his coffee to his wholesale customers once a week, so he can bring the coffee in large metal tins and fill up their stores without the need for any other packaging - by doing so Press coffee & co saved 750,000 coffee bags from going in to landfill by using reusable coffee drums. In a world where cardboard packaging and couriers are abundant, we love that Press aren’t giving in to these forms of convenience and are instead ensuring their carbon footprint is as low as it can be.

Go Andy and team!


You only have to read Coaltown’s later B-corp annual report to be impressed by the many initiatives this Welsh coffee roaster has in place. What stands out to us most is the connection to the community and a focus on their people. They are passionate about equality and diversity, and over half of their workforce are women. They are a living wage employer and recently donated a % of their coffee sales to Swansea Rainbow Counselling centre in support of Pride.



Flying Horse coffee - Packaging INNOVATION

Flying Horse’s ‘zero impact’ compostable pods are made of natural material that is derived from bio-sourced cellulose and vegetable oils. What does this all mean? It means they biodegrade at ambient temperature in just 20 weeks! Pretty impressive compared to aluminium pods, which can be recycled, but are often thrown in the normal bin! In the past Flying Horse have also experimented with sugar cane packaging for their coffee bags, and always use recycled materials for their packaging.

So that’s our round up - and we’ll keep adding to the list as we go!

Before we wrap up, we’ve talked alot about b-corp, a creditation which is well known in the food & drink industry (to trade) but less well known to consumers in the UK.

So, What is b-corp?

“B Lab is the nonprofit network transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. Watch more below”

B-Corp began in 2006 with the idea that a different kind of economy was immediately necessary and highly possible! B Lab became known for certifying B Corporations, which are companies that meet high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

To change the way we do business, B-Corp has created B Lab which in turn has created standards, policies, tools, and programs that shift the behavior, culture, and structural underpinnings of capitalism and the mindset of business stakeholders. The planet and society has critical challenges to address and B-Corp is at the forefront of this shift.

“We won’t stop until all business is a force for good”

B Corp Movement from B Lab on Vimeo.


How many coffee roasters have B-Corp in the UK? There are only a few, 10 to be precise.

Others include Pact coffee, Assembly coffee, North Star coffee, Nespresso, Truestart coffee, Red bank coffee, Dear green coffee roasters.

RiSE coffee box is currently undergoing the application process for B-corp - which can take up to 2 years (eek!). We’d love to hear any suggestions from you about new sustainable roasting partners we could work with, so do get in touch!


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