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Reducing coffee greenhouse gas emissions in Vietnam

4C combined forces with Simexco, IDH – the Sustainable Trade Initiative, and JDE to improve the environmental footprint of coffee production in Vietnam and make a valuable contribution to the global combat against climate change.

Project background

Climate change has a vastly negative impact and is caused, among others, by the increasing amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere with agriculture as one of the main GHG emitters. Coffee production is no exception here: application of fertilizers and pesticides, deforestation and soil degradation, energy-consuming machines as well as inefficient wastewater management are considered the biggest GHG emission sources in the green coffee bean supply chain.

Measurement of GHG emissions provides an opportunity to address this problem by conducting a scientific and comprehensive evaluation of a farm’s potential to reduce its climate change impact. Having GHG information at hand makes it is possible to proceed to the next step and develop an appropriate and viable action plan to reduce, inset, and offset GHG emissions in the green coffee bean supply chain.

Project measures

In 2020, 4C partnered with Simexco Dak Lak Ltd (SMC), a major Vietnamese coffee exporter, in a pilot project in cooperation with IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, and Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) to calculate GHG emissions in coffee production. The technical consultant of the project was Meo Carbon Solutions. The process involved multiple stages, such as supply chain mapping, filling in and analyzing data templates as well as setting up the first calculator draft. Based on the calculation results, corresponding measures were developed to reduce and mitigate GHG emissions.

In January 2021, all partners had a joint discussion of the GHG emission calculation results. Aggregated results for the group expressed in tons of CO2 equivalent per metric ton of green coffee bean were presented and analyzed. The scope of analysis included specific actors along the supply chain of SMC, such as agents, cooperatives and dry processors, as well as small and big farmers. Consequently, the main factors causing the GHG emission were identified to localize the room for improvement and make recommendations concerning short-term and long-term improvement measures. The GHG emission calculator was also shared with SMC in order to support the company in further self-analysis of the results and enable it to autonomously calculate GHG emissions in the supply chain for internal monitoring.

The project team is looking forward to working with all the interested parties which would like to support the implementation of improvement measures on the ground and to further monitor the changes in reducing GHG emissions. Please contact us for detailed information.

Good to know …

This project is an important milestone for 4C on its way to establishing a “4C Climate Friendly” Add-On to the certification standard. As consumers become more and more concerned with the environmental footprint of products they buy, 4C developed an additional logo to enable coffee producers, traders, brand owners, and roasters to indicate their efforts to improve their GHG footprint.

About IDH

IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, brings governments, companies, CSOs and financiers together in action driven coalitions. We orchestrate the powers of law, of entrepreneurship and investments to work together to create solutions for global sustainability issues at scale. We work in multiple sectors and landscapes in Africa, Asia and Latin America with over 600 companies, CSOs, financial institutions, producer organizations and governments towards sustainable production and trade. Read more at www.idhsustainabletrade.com.

About JDE

For more than 265 years we have been inspired by our belief that it is amazing what can happen over a cup of coffee. Today our portfolio is available in over 100 countries through iconic brands including: Jacobs, Tassimo, Moccona, Senseo, L’OR, Douwe Egberts, Super, Kenco, Pilao & Gevalia. Learn more at www.jacobsdouweegberts.com.

About Simexco

Simexco Dak Lak Ltd (SMC), a state-owned company founded in 1993, is recognized as one of the leading coffee exporters of Vietnam, the largest Robusta producing country in the world. Annual exports of SMC range from 1,3 to 2 million bags (60 kg) of coffee, representing 8% of coffee production in Vietnam. Since joining 4C in 2010, SMC has involved 4605 farmers whose farms were selected for improvement of agricultural and fair trade practices and to create a sustainable coffee community. More information under www.simexcodl.com.vn/.