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Case study

Van Houtte Coffee Services

Cost Savings

  • Cost of handling waste: 50%
  • Vehicle fuel use: 64%
  • Over $100,000 annually

GHG Reduction Highlights

  • Waste: cardboard baler, extensive recycling program
  • Fleet: dual-fuel, hybrid, and electric vehicles

Annual Emissions

  • Reduced by 22%
  • 2009: 1412 tonnes CO2e
  • 2013: 1100 tonnes CO2e

Through comprehensive fuel, electricity and natural gas reduction strategies implemented over a two-year period, Van Houtte Coffee Services’ British Columbia operations are reducing emissions annually by 312 tonnes CO2e—over 22% of their 2009 baseline emissions—as well as seeing significant cost savings.

The primary area of cost savings and emissions reductions came from fuel reductions in their vehicle fleet. By converting 20 gasoline vehicles to propane, and optimizing fleet vehicle routes, emissions from transporting goods out of the Van Houtte CS locations in BC were reduced by over 270 tonnes CO2e total over a two-year period. Costs saved during this time totalled over $200,000. With an approximate cost of $5,000 to retrofit each vehicle, the investment was paid for in one year.

For further information on Van Houtte’s fuel-saving initiatives please see page 19 of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions research paper “Are Small-to-Mid Sized Businesses the Catalyst to a Low Carbon Economy in BC?

Van Houtte CS has been an exemplar of business-to-business engagement and sharing of knowledge. They have reduced their paper use simply by surveying their clients and switching many accounts over to paperless e-statements. In speaking with another Climate Smart business, Morten learned about using cardboard baling machines to reduce waste pickups. Installing one in the warehouse, Van Houtte CS has now cut down on frequency of cardboard pickup significantly. As well, Van Houtte CS now gets paid per tonne for their baled cardboard, helping to offset the cost of recycling and processing waste.

This video case study brought to you by Vancity Credit Union and Metro Vancouver.

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