The choice of sustainable coffee makes sense

May 14, 2024

"We want to be aware of our responsibility and contribute to raising the industry standard for sustainable procurement and routines around supplier agreements," says CEO of Evolve, Øivind Gundersen, about the ripple effects a choice has.

Øivind thinks it has been important to, if possible, limit the number of links in the supply chain and demand documentation from subcontractors since it is often there, in the second and third links in a supply chain that does not always operate sustainably. We have had a chat with Evolve's general manager, Øivind Gundersen, about a perfect day off, coffee, and sustainability.

CEO of Evolve, Øivind Gundersen
CEO of Evolve, Øivind Gundersen

What does a perfect day off look like to you?
I have so little of that that I almost don't know... Hmm, the best thing about a day off is often the night before. The best thing about a Saturday is Friday night. Knowing that you have nothing to do. Otherwise, I think it's lovely to always get up early - see the light come every day. It is also nice to do something, to be active, to move the body. I like to go out into nature. Having time to cook some good food with your wife or with good friends. A good meal is often good too.

Although Evolve's product is sustainable, by combating space waste and the good consequences that come from people being able to sit closer to where they live and not use too many resources to move around. Nevertheless, improvements and adjustments can always be made that make Evolve an even greater positive contributor to sustainable development.

Coffee as a decisive factor?

Øivind Gundersen learned early on how important the choice of coffee is.

When I started at Evolve, I was told two things - "Øivind, you have to fix coffee and you have to fix print". I remember thinking that maybe it wasn't the very first thing I should start with, that maybe other things were more important, but I quickly gained an understanding of how extremely important coffee is in the office. We launched the coffee solution with King Coffee in October 2021, exactly one year ago, and have received a lot of positive feedback from Evolvere since then. There are always divided opinions about coffee, and many other coffees that are also good, but the solutions we have had in the past do not work well for us.

There are undeniably many stones to turn over before choosing a coffee supplier for close to 30 office centers.

What factors made it eventually become King Coffee?
The commitment of Erik and Asgeir was very decisive, but the sustainability aspect is perhaps the main argument for choosing them, and it is repeated throughout their value chain. In the short term, we needed available and good coffee, while in the longer term we want a sustainable solution. Enthusiastic and passionate coffee lovers have a particular eye for sustainability in the broadest sense of the word.
Evolve coffee in Figma cups
Evolve coffee in a Figma cup

Sustainability in all aspects of coffee.

For King Coffee, it is important to pay a fair price for the coffee itself, and a large proportion of this goes to the coffee farmer himself. If the coffee farmer's children see the profession as a good opportunity, knowledge can be passed down and the focus on sustainable soil management can be in focus.

When we chose the coffee solution, it was somewhat the start of a sustainability journey for us. We are just getting started and have now dedicated a person and a group working on it. But it's a journey for us too. King Coffee is a forward-leaning small company trying to position itself in a very established coffee market. It also really appealed to me because large parts of the coffee industry have few mafia tendencies. It is dominated by large players with sharp elbows toward the smaller players. When we choose suppliers, we are concerned with the entire chain; both the product they deliver, but not least the way it is produced, and the working conditions at the manufacturer and supplier. In that respect, King Coffee was very relevant to us.

This year, Evolve has employed an operations manager who will work purposefully with the quality of operations, projects, and sustainability in the company. The aim is to establish efficient and effective measures, but not least also to create good stories and use that in the positioning of our marketing work. We also believe that making real sustainable choices is profitable. It is right from an environmental perspective, but it is also profitable from a business perspective.

The founder of King Coffee to the right, Erik Låbakk with employee, and partners Asgeir Vikanes and
The founder of King Coffee to the right, Erik Låbakk with employee, and partners Asgeir Vikanes and
Why was it important that Evolve made this particular choice?
When we make choices, it sends ripples through the water to farm owners, tenants, and the community around us. If we at Evolve want to be conscious and committed to sustainability, then we must also commit to the choices we make and make demands. It doesn't matter what choices a company like Evolve makes and the last thing we want to be is a greenwashed company. We have to change a lot of habits, and there is never just a quick fix. We can not do everything, but we will start by taking some steps that we can become good at.

Total coffee consumption for Evolve in 2021 was 1,284 kilograms of coffee, which the next 10 years will provide
102 children in kindergarten, pre-school, and play. Over the next 10 years, 51 adults will receive evening lessons and adult education. With partners such as Church Aid and Plan International, the choice of a coffee supplier as of 2021 gives 297 people clean water, every day, for the rest of their lives.

This has been realized because of the choice of coffee suppliers that Evolve and other Norwegian companies make. Choice with meaning.

Enjoy the coffee then, it makes the world a little better ☕️

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