Caffe L'affare

Dan WilcoxIconic Wellington café and coffee roaster, Caffe L’ affare has found that a focus on environmental management has benefited all its business processes. Caffe L’affare Roaster Dan Wilcox (right) chatted over a perfectly brewed cup with Enviro-Mark Membership Manager, Kristin Flanagan.

Why did your organisation decide to focus on its environmental management?

One of the greatest threats to coffee culture is climate change. Entire coffee plantations are being wiped out throughout Central America and elsewhere due to extreme weather that damages crops, and climatic conditions that encourage leaf rust. As a company, we feel that it is our responsibility to do what we can in order to keep nature in balance.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your environmental programme?

Seeing so much ‘waste’ going to community groups is a very heart-warming feeling. Where we previously would have been paying a considerable amount to dispose of this ‘waste’ (coffee sacks, ground coffee, coffee chaff, compost, etc.), we are now seeing huge amounts of gratitude from community gardening groups and excited customers ge tting stuck into their gardens. This is only the most immediately visible reward though.

What has been the most challenging aspect of this?

Having a team of about 60 staff, it can be challenging to get everyone on board and keeping everyone inspired and informed of our initiatives. A few motivational one-on-one conversations, pats on the back and reminders at staff meetings seem to do well.

What are some of your EMS achievements?

Being able to effectively halve our waste is a big one. Being one step ahead of our Health and Safety requirements also brings a lot of peace of mind. As a result of our EMS initiatives and our in ternal auditing processes, Caffe L’affare is a well-oiled machine. Things seldom go wrong but if and when something does, we know what to do about it because of the foresight required to run a successful EMS programme.

What advice would you give to other companies think ing of implementing an EMS?

DO IT! We have so much to gain by building sustainable business practices and infinitely more to lose if we fail to do so with urgency.

How has being a member of the Enviro-Mark programme assisted you?

Personally, this programme has assisted me to have a wider perspective on issues relating to environmental management. It has enabled me to perceive the business as a whole and to see the inter-connectedness of issues surrounding it.

What value does Enviro-Mark certification have for your organisation?

Financial savings are certainly a positive outcome and being part of a more environmentally-friendly company is a good feeling but there are less tangible benefits that are slowly coming to fruition. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the ethical choices that companies are making. It feels good to be able to walk the talk.

Where are you heading now with your environmental management efforts?

That’s kind of hard to answer succinctly as we are expanding our efforts in all areas. We would love to be able to reduce our carbon footprint by sourcing coffee beans from closer to home but that is a tough one.


Enviro - Mark Gold certification means that an organisation:


  • Has developed, implemented and tested an environmental emergency plan;
  • Has formalised the roles and responsibilities for people working for and on behalf of the organisation;
  • Has set objectives and targets for driving continual improvement and has programmes detailed to meet those targets;
  • Has identified and evaluated the significant environmental aspects and impacts of it activities, products and services;
  • Has produced an environmental policy statement;
  • Is fully compliant with New Zealand’s most common and widely applicable health and safety and environmental legislation.


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