1% for the Planet, 99% Caffeinated
Hikers Brew Coffee is one of only a few 1% For the Planet companies, dedicated to lowering waste
1% for the Planet comprises “a global network of businesses, individuals, and nonprofit organizations tackling our planet’s most pressing environmental issues,” according to ITS website.
And one local business is dedicated to the cause of eliminating waste from landfills.
Entrepreneurs Zach Pecha and Addy Serum started their company, Hikers Brew Coffee, in 2016 with a passion for reducing packaging waste. Both founders are outdoor adventure enthusiasts and have extensive experience packing in and packing out typical single-use coffee packages.
“Not everything we do is sustainable. We’re always trying to do better.”–Zach Pecha, Hikers Brew COffee
Hikers Brew Coffee is one of a small number of businesses in the Chippewa Valley that are members of the international 1% For The Planet network. The commitment is significant, with members donating 1% of annual revenue to verified nonprofits working to protect the world’s natural resources.
Inspired to make a difference by years of learning about the world’s plastic pollution crisis, the pair makes each business decision centered around sustainability.
“Not everything we do is sustainable,” Pecha says. “We’re always trying to do better.”
“As part of a supply chain, we have to contend with the business practices of other organizations,” he explains. “A good example is inbound shipping – a lot of companies use bubble wrap, so our job is then to reuse, recycle, and properly dispose of it as well as we can.”
Compostable packaging is at the heart of the business. Fairly new to many consumers, this is one of the ways the company aims to lead by example. Compostable packaging is more expensive to produce and – due to the nature of the materials used – has a shorter shelf life. Despite its drawbacks, the benefits to the environment are immense.
“There is always more to learn,” Pecha said, “about business practices in general, how the farmers that grow the beans we use tend their crops, packaging and so many other things.”
“That variety is something we both enjoy,” he continued. “And Eau Claire is a great place … to run a business. We see a lot of benefits from being here. Being in the Midwest reduces our shipping costs, making it easier for us to supply both coasts. And with so many great manufacturers in Wisconsin and Minnesota, we are part of a fantastic network of local and national businesses.”
The founders’ development plans for the company include strengthening their community and regional connections and a near-continuous assessment of their ways of working. While it already offers customers the option to choose carbon-neutral shipping and to plant a tree for every online order, the company is also working with nonprofit Climate Neutral to calculate, measure, and offset its emissions.
Check out more about their sustainable initiatives at hikersbrewcoffee.com.