Highwire has always had a conscience and intention around sustainability.
We believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to look at their actions, and where possible make choices that promote sustainability of the environment. We do not pretend to know what the best choices are in all areas, but follow our conscience and evolve as we become more aware and informed.
We routinely ask ourselves if there is a more sustainable approach or way forward.
IN OUR CAFES
From the earliest days of working in Market Hall, we removed paper cups for water, purchased Heath ceramic serveware to encourage “for here” orders, and removed most pre-packaged goods from our lineup.
We eliminated all straws in our cafes early 2018 and instead offer compostable sipper lids. This resulted in keeping approximately 50,000 straws out of the waste stream last year.
Anything served 'to-go' is in compostable cups and lids. Where possible we've moved away from using plastic across all operations.
Our San Pablo cafe operates on solar power and we switched our lighting to LED bulbs in order to reduce the carbon footprint. We've purchased energy star certified refrigeration and retired the least energy efficient models after participating in an energy use survey at our Rockridge cafe. We're careful to switch equipment off or to standby mode overnight to cut down on wasted energy.
We serve water in glasses whenever possible.
AT THE ROASTERY
Our roastery and offices in Emeryvile utilize LED fixtures.
We transport coffee to our cafes in re-useable bags and buckets instead of single use bags.
We donate burlap coffee bags to artists, makers and farmers for use in apple orchards.
Coffee chaff is donated to a small farm, Poppy Corners, for use as mulch and in a hen house.
We compost our coffee grounds or give them away to farmers/gardeners for use in enriching their soil.
We took advantage of existing distribution models and transitioned wholesale customers deliveries to UPS rather than using our own vans, thereby reducing vehicles on the road, emissions and gas usage.
OUR COFFEE AND 4TRACK TEA
Since 2016 we've packaged our retail bags of coffee in compostable bags.
Highwire offers a certified organic blend, Conscientious Objector. We recognize the importance of supporting efforts to practice a more sustainable form of agriculture.
4track tea offers four certified organic teas: Gone Green, Wild Gift, Tulsi Rose, and Kool Thing, and purchases certified organic ingredients for other blends as well.
We redesigned 4track tea packaging to minimize wasteful packaging. The tea is sealed in a compostable inner bag to preserve freshness. The cardboard tube is also compostable.
Our approach to sourcing coffee is to work through local coffee importers to provide coffee samples that meet our quality criteria. We recognize the value in their having people who live in the growing countries, who speak the languages and know the people. We feel this is preferable as it respects existing relationships, as well as the deeper expertise on the parts of exporting and importing professionals. It saves unnecessary travel and the associated environmental impacts.
We continue to look for ways we can operate in a more sustainable way and believe in the impact of many small actions, individuals and communities working together.