Illy: Treating the Earth with Care
Ecosystem conservation and environmental stewardship have long been integral to illy’s sustainability practices. In addition to developing and promoting environmentally sound cultivation practices, illy seeks to reducethe environmental impact of the entire production process.
The commitment starts in producing countries where illy’s agronomists and Università del caffè faculty work side-by-side with farmers to share the latest research and implement best practices, emphasizing low impact, manual methods.
Minimal water usage, waste water reduction, natural shading of plants with native trees and minimization of synthetic product usage are among chief protocols.
The commitment continues in Trieste, Italy, at illy’s sole production facility, where the world's best Arabica comes together to comprise the illy blend. Expert roasting takes place in an ultra-low emissions facility, where smoke discharge stands at one twentieth the legally permitted limit.
A recentlycompleted project goes yet further, recovering heat produced during roasting and transforming it into hot water used throughout the plant.
illy’s longstanding environmental policies and practices have merited numerous, major international recognitions and certifications.
Collaborating with Oxford University
In 2008 illycaffè started a major research collaboration with the Center for the Environment at Oxford University(OUCE) aimed at identifying and assessing the most sustainable growing conditions for high-quality Arabica coffee. The completed model will have implications beyond coffee, to other forms of agriculture.
A second research project with Oxford and the International Coffee Organization is currently examining the effects of climate change on coffee production.
In Brazil: Instituto Terra
illycaffè is a major supporter of Instituto Terra, a Brazil-based, non-profit organization founded by Sebastiãoand Leila Salgado focused on restoring, protecting and preserving La Foresta (Mata) Atlantica, considered one of world’s the five most important ecosystems.
In 2008, the organization created a comprehensivemanual detailing best practices for recovery and optimal management of the forest, and distributed it to coffee growers, universities and research centers throughout the country. An updated manual is due for release in 2012. The Insituto’s other work includesresearch into the development of native trees throughout its adopted ecosystem