Featuring Chrystal and Brian Holt | Wilmington, VT
The 1A Coffee team have some innovative solutions in mind to reduce the environmental impact of its countryside coffee shop and roastery, which is majority-owned and run by women and veterans. Their goal is to be the first Vermont coffee roaster to achieve B Corp sustainability certification.
“Even a small shop, tucked away in the middle of the green mountains of Vermont…can be a model to follow for sustainability.”
What is the most important part of your project that you want the world to know about?
That even a small shop, tucked away in the middle of the green mountains of Vermont, in a population of around 2,000 people, can be a model to follow for sustainability.
Could you describe your project?
Our project focuses on sustainability in four interconnected areas. First, we want to create a closed-loop waste system, eliminating single-use cups and transitioning to 100 percent glass containers for both takeaway and wholesale coffee. Second, we aim to achieve net-zero or net-positive energy production by renewable sources as well as have a carbon-neutral supply chain, and zero-waste. Third, to study and improve internal air quality within the roastery and coffee shop with a greenhouse gas analysis, and fourth, to provide a roadmap for other coffee shops and roasters to achieve sustainability certifications.
In one sentence, what is your ultimate goal with this initiative?
There is often a perception that urban areas lead in sustainability; we want to change this perception and provide common resources to show how other coffee shops and roasters can move toward more sustainable operations independent of their location.
What inspired you to get involved in this issue?
While living abroad, we were greatly inspired by both the coffee scene and general societal views on environmental responsibility and climate change in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. As we created our business, we wanted to consider every decision through the lens of sustainability—to provide a new model different from the status quo of putting profit above our environmental, social, and economic responsibilities.