Sustainability Update

11 September 2018
Sustainability Update

It’s been a while since our chef Holly’s excellent post about sustainability at 3fe. Holly and the team picked up the Sustainable Restaurant Award in 2016 and it really opened our eyes to a variety of issues worth tackling. While it started in the kitchen, this change of mindset has kick-started a much wider project around sustainability at the company. The project has been going from strength to strength, but we haven’t been very good about keeping you in the loop, so the hope with this post is to fill in the gaps, and show you where we’re headed.

From the work in the kitchen around sustainability, we began looking at the other areas of the business, such as the cafe itself and the roastery. Reducing waste and energy consumption has been at the top of the agenda so far with a bunch of different initiatives introduced over the past few months. We’ve kitted out chicken coops with our chaff waste, begun monitoring our energy use and brought out new recyclable cups - but more detail on those later.

As much as those individual initiatives have been fun and important, without a broader set of goals behind them there’s a real danger that we would be getting excited about cool projects without knowing what impact, if any, they were having.

The next step for us was to join the dots, and set up a more cohesive plan for sustainability at 3fe. There’s a lot going on within the company that concerns sustainability, from the way we buy coffee, to the bin collections at Grand Canal Street. Keeping track of each of these parts needs a broad and ambitious plan.

The main task has been deciding the areas we want to improve on, and the metrics for how we measure that progress. One of our aims is to make that progress easy to communicate to you, the customer, so that we are kept accountable for our actions. We’re not the first coffee company to do this, and we have a huge amount of admiration for companies like Counter Culture Coffee who have blazed the trail.

The key areas that we’re going to be looking at include:

Waste and Energy Use

Purchasing Principles

Staff Welfare


We’ve set up a ‘sustainability team’ of people from all the different sections of the business, so that we can exchange ideas on these topics, and make sure that changes we agree to are happening across the board.

So what can you expect over the coming weeks?

  • A baseline report on where we’re at right now, over a bunch of important issues
  • Goals for the next 12 months
  • News on the specific initiatives we’ve put in place so far

It’s not going to be an overnight process, nor will it be a process that has a finish line. But we believe that by being more transparent about how the business operates, and charting the progress, we will be able to make a substantial impact to the way we do business.