Costa Express served ISO 14001 sustainability standard


Costa Express now operates more than 5,500 self-service coffee machines in nine international markets, with plans to expand to 8,000 machines by 2020. Photo:

Costa Coffee has been awarded the ISO 14001 International Standard for Environmental Management Systems for its self-serve 'Express' outlets, less than a week after the organisation was scrutinised for its approach to managing waste coffee cups.

The ISO 14001 certification, confirmed by the retailer today (2 August),  comes after a series of sustainability measures were applied across the Costa Express business, which now operates more than 5,500 machines and serves more than 80 million cups of coffee annually.

“Costa Express is committed to proactively managing its environmental impact,” said Costa Express’s managing director Murray McGowan. “Progress can only be demonstrated through effective measurement, which is why we hold ourselves to rigorous standards based on quality measurements and insights. These not only benefit the environment, but also reduce costs and improve efficiency within Costa Express.”


ISO 14001 revision


The brand now joins more than 324,000 other organisations that are certified to the ISO 14001 Standard, which essentially outlines how to put an effective environmental management system in place and is designed to help businesses remain commercially successful without overlooking environmental responsibilities.


Based on a ‘Plan-Check-Do-Review-Improve’ cycle, ISO 14001 was recently revised to become more integrated into core business processes, with an extra focus being placed on leadership and top management and communicational performance.


Around 40% of ISO 14001-certified businesses have saved at least £10,000 a year through the Standard, with some saving as much as £5m through improved environmental management, according to the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). The majority of these savings were delivered through energy efficiency measures (71% of ISO 14001-certified businesses surveyed by IEMA) and improved waste management (64% of those surveyed).


War on Waste


Costa Express’s ISO 14001 certification comes just days after Costa Coffee was vilified for “misleading the public” when it comes to the recyclability of coffee cups.


The Whitbread-owned company, which is Britain’s largest coffee seller, was the subject of scrutiny in the Hugh’s War on Waste TV programme, which revealed that more than 5,000 coffee cups are now thrown away every minute in the UK, but less than 1% of those are actually being recycled


Shortly before the show aired, Costa’s energy and environment manager Ollie Rosevear  confirmed to edie that the retailer is to remove the recycling symbol from all of its paper cups and is now trialling in-store recycling systems at 50 of its UK stores, as it plans to "lead the industry" in the fight against coffee cup waste.