Green Mountain Coffee wins Best Corporate Citizen for 2007

gmcoffee.jpgEveryone loves top 100 lists, and the “100 Best Corporate Citizens” according to Corporate Responsibility Officer magazine has just been released with Vermont’s Green Mountain Coffee topping the list for the second straight year. GreenBiz has details about how the ranking was pulled together. If you want to go straight to the list, click here for the PDF. It’s important to note that only companies listed on various major indexes were eligible for the prize.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

4 responses

    I live in Quito, Ecuador, which is as close to paradise one might get. In fact all of Ecuador is unique. There is probably no other country like it in the world. The climate is great, the people are wonderful, and there are four very distinct climatic areas in the country. It is one of the few travel secrets left in the world.
    Unfortunately this paradise is slowly being destroyed by a few multinational companies who have absolutely no regard for this fragile environment.
    Several years ago companies such as COCA-COLA, PEPSI-COLA, INBEV (BECK’S BEER, BASS, BUDWIESER)
    SAB-MILLER (MILLER BEER, CASTLE BEER, AMSTED LAGER), started introducing most of their beverages in non-returnable containers. The soft drink manufacturers now produce a wide range of non-returnable plastic containers of all their products.
    The beer manufacturers also are now producing non-returnable drinks in bottles and cans.
    These products include soft drinks, bottled water, beer, fruit juice drinks and energy drinks.
    Unfortunately no where in Ecuador is there a refund law requiring these multinational companies to accept responsibility for their irresponsible marketing strategies.
    Because of this total disregard for the environment and only their concern for high profits, the country is literally becoming choked by the non-returnable containers.
    The garbage generated by these products is becoming a very serious problem.
    These are not the only companies selling these non-returnable containers. Included in this list are whiskey manufacturers such as Johnny Walker, Cutty Sark, Chivas Regal, most of the California wine companies, Chilean wine companies, Heineken Beer, Budweiser. etc.
    All these companies are not allowed to carry on these type of irresponsible marketing practices in North America or Europe, but because there is a lack of laws in countries such as Ecuador, they do whatever they want and feel no obligation to correct these criminal practices.
    If you go to the web pages of these soft drink companies or liquor companies, they all talk about their social responsibilities. Believe me this is only a farce. Not only do they pollute the country side with their products, they illegally sell to establishments that do not have permits to sell liquor, they sell their products close to local high schools and churches.
    They also openly sponsor amateur and professional sports teams. Again, in North America and in Europe this would not be permitted. What kind of message are they sending to the youth that it is alright to mix alcohol with sports?
    I am asking your support to put pressure on these companies. I would like you to first start a worldwide boycott of products manufactures by AMBEV, SAB-MILLER, COCA-COLA, PEPSI-COLA, JOHNNY WALKER WHISKEY, CUTTY SARK; CHIVAS-REGAL.
    I would like you to start an email campaign sending a clear message to all these companies that they cannot carry on with unacceptable marketing practices such as they do in Ecuador.
    The people and the country of Ecuador are no different than the people of North America and Europe. We deserve to be treated with the same respect and dignity.
    This country cannot be used as a personal dumping ground for these types of multinational companies. If their marketing and sales practices are unacceptable in North America and Europe, why should they be allowed to do as they please in a small country such as Ecuador?
    Finally, I would ask that you send this letter around the world to all environmental groups, politicians, news media, and anyone who can pressure these types of companies into permanently stopping these types of environmentally destructive practices.
    Thank you;
    Zoltan S. Strigan

  2. Green Mountain is the owner of the Keurig or K-Cup single serve coffee company. The product is an environmental problem because of the non-recyclable waste created by the coffee containers. Among the most environmentally unfriendly coffee process on the market.

    See the info from their website:

    Are K-Cups® Recyclable?

    Keurig continues to seek environmentally friendly options for packaging and marketing its K-Cups. The non-bleached filter paper used in the K-Cup to provide an optimal taste profile is based on an environmentally friendly production process. Recyclable materials are used for the packaging of its 25/24 count boxes, master shipping cartons, and sales and marketing materials.

    The challenge of protecting the freshness of roasted coffee while using environmentally friendly packaging is one that both Keurig® and the coffee industry are committed to overcoming. The K-Cup is constructed from materials that insure that the ground Arabica coffee is protected from humidity, oxygen and light which accelerate the staling process.

    The outer barrier is a combination of a multi-layer plastic cup material and a foil laminated plastic lid. This form of packaging is also used for other single-portion products like salad dressings, sauces and butter. Due to the size of the package it is not currently economically feasible to separate the components of the K-Cup after use. Accordingly, there are no federal government regulations requiring recycling of this type and size of packaging.

    There are other environmental issues surrounding the brewing of coffee that have allowed Keurig to actively support a better environment. The Keurig system does not waste water because coffee is brewed one cup at a time. Glass pots and thermal carafes use water for brewing coffee by the pot which is often disposed of as waste after the coffee cools. In addition, detergents that are used in offices to clean glass pot and thermal carafe systems can contaminate our waterways.

    Finally, in order to sanitize glass pots and air-pots, many office coffee distributors soak them in acid baths, which are harmful to our waterways. Keurig recommends natural citric acid for all cleaning procedures and the Keurig system requires less frequent cleaning than traditional glass pot and thermal carafe systems.

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