We used to be quick to criticise companies for failing in their social or environmental responsibilities. We all need to look after the environment, and ourselves, more than we currently do. We believe the companies which provide so much of our goods and services, and which are becoming an ever larger part of society, must take up some of that responsibility.
But starting a company, even one as small as Mana, has taught us that sticking to your values and staying afloat is hard! And struggling to stay profitable limits the company’s ability to make proactive, positive societal change. So it’s a careful balancing act!
We think we're on the right track: the paper we use for our boxes is non-bleached and easily recyclable. By offering a bulk package, we're playing our part in reducing the prevalence of single use packaging. We try hard to minimise wastage by giving away less than perfect boxes (full of coffee) and making use of our grounds. We even offer our foodservice customers refillable bottles. We hope to eventually have a range of products that creatively use our grounds and make sure that everything gets a ‘second life’. Most importantly, we work closely with our roaster and their family of growers to make sure our precious ingredient - our coffee - comes from ethical and sustainable farms that support the farmers and their communities.
There's still a lot to do though. We get our boxes from overseas, so we can't control working conditions and we spend a lot of energy on transportation. Our bags are not as easy to recycle as we would like. But we’re working on it! We’re in discussions with our suppliers to try and find more environmentally and socially beneficial methods of making our beautiful product. And we’re trying, wherever possible, to make decisions that are both economically sound and in keeping with our firm environmental and social beliefs. It’s a challenge but one we strongly believe in.
We'll continue to work to make sure our product has as minimal a negative impact on the world as we can, but if you have any ideas we would love to hear them, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.