frequently asked
questions

Select a question from within
the categories below

  • Why does Nespresso have its own coffee sourcing program?

    At Nespresso, we believe that quality and sustainability go hand in hand. We have therefore launched our own coffee sourcing program that is based on both sustainability – considering social, environmental and ecological aspects – and quality.

    We have established long-term direct relationships with the 70,000 farmers participating in the program. With the program we know exactly where our coffees come from and can provide our customers the high quality coffees that they expect from us.

  • Which organizations does Nespresso work with?

    Nespresso collaborates with many well-established NGOs. The AAA program, for example, was launched together with Rainforest Alliance, bringing together Nespresso’s coffee expertise and the NGO’s specialist knowledge for sustainable agriculture. Together with Fairtrade International (as well as the Columbian government and local coffee cooperatives) we have initiated the AAA Farmer Future Program to protect farmers from the risks in the coffee growing sector.

    As a first step we have established a pension fund for farmers in Colombia in March 2014. In South Sudan we collaborate with TechnoServe to re-establish the coffee market that had suffered from three decades of civil war. In 2015, we exported the first coffee from South Sudan to Europe.

  • What are the sustainability criteria of the AAA Sustainable Quality Program?

    The program is based on 296 sustainability criteria for social, economic and environmental sustainability defined by Rainforest Alliance and the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), consisting of:

    56 economic criteria, for example farm management, traceability and training 90 environmental criteria, for example conservation of nature and species, sustainable agriculture and waste management.

    150 Social criteria, for example health and safety, working conditions and community relationships.

    A network of 300 agronomists supports the farmers on-field, developing tailored plans to fulfill these criteria and to improve sustainability and productivity on the farms while maintaining the highest coffee quality standards.

  • Is Nespresso coffee certified by Fairtrade or other labels?

    At Nespresso, we believe that quality and sustainability go hand in hand. We have therefore launched our own coffee sourcing program that is based on both sustainability – considering social, environmental and ecological aspects – and quality. We have established long-term direct relationships with the 70,000 farmers participating in the program. We therefore know exactly where our coffees come from and can provide our customers the high quality coffees that they expect from us.

    Many positive aspects – such as farmer’s cooperatives, proximity to ultimate buyers and a fair price policy – are part of our program.

    Nespresso also collaborates directly with Fairtrade International. In order to enhance the social security for coffee farmers we have initiated the AAA Farmer Future Program in close collaboration with Fairtrade International, the Colombian government and local coffee cooperatives. As a first step we have created a pension fund for farmers in Colombia in order to better protect them from the risks in the coffee growing sector.

  • Which advantages do AAA farmers benefit from?

    Apart from receiving training on how to sustainably grow coffee, the farmers are paid premium prices, 30% - 40% above average market prices and 10% - 15% above market prices for coffees of similar quality.

    The program also improves their social, economic and environmental conditions: an independent study by the Colombian research institute CRECE (Centro de Estudios Regionales Cafeteros y Empresariales) has shown that AAA farmers benefit from 22.6% better social conditions, 52% better environmental conditions and 41% better economic conditions.

  • Are the capsules 100% recyclable?

    Yes, Nespresso capsules are recyclable. Nespresso uses aluminium for its capsules, as it is the best material that we have found to protect the quality and freshness of the Nespresso Grand Cru coffees against factors such as oxygen, light and humidity. Aluminium also has the advantage of being infinitely recyclable. As we believe in the value aluminium, we are setting up recycling programmes to ensure that aluminium can get a second life. The spent coffee grounds from used Nespresso capsules can also be re-used in a number of ways, including organic fertilizers or as a source of green energy.

  • Who will recycle the capsules for you?

    Nespresso is working with Oricol Environmental Services (Oricol), an environmental service company that has assumed a leading role in South Africa for the delivery of superior environmental and resource recovery solutions and aims to divert waste from landfill and turn waste into a resource. All used Nespresso capsules are transported by road to Oricol’s Spartan facility in Johannesburg, South Africa, for separation, storage and recycling.

  • How is the destination or use of recycled components determined?

    Oricol handles and determines the future use of both the aluminium and spent coffee grounds derived from recycled capsules. Once separated the aluminium undergoes a further recycling process at a nearby steal smelter where it is reused to make new aluminium products while the coffee grounds are composted to produce a very high-quality fertilizer for organic farming purposes.

  • What is the collection / recovery process of Nespresso used capsules for recycling?

    To encourage Club Members to recycle their used capsules to give them a second life, Nespresso has set up convenient return options to make it easy to recycle.

    Collection points: The Nespresso Boutiques form the heart of the operation in South Africa by providing Club Members with easy access to handy collection points. Nespresso has set up dedicated recycling bins in all Nespresso Boutiques which are conveniently and centrally located V&A Waterfront, Canal Walk, Somerset West in Cape Town, Walmer Park in Port Elizabeth, Hyde Park or Sandton City in Johannesburg, Menlyn in Pretoria and Gateway in Durban.

  • How are capsules transported to Oricol?

    Used capsules collected via the Nespresso Boutiques are consolidated and stored in air-tight recycling wheelie bins. Once full, the bin liner containing used capsules is sealed and packaged by the Boutique team into a corrugated cardboard box for weekly collection by a dedicated courier service. On arrival at Oricol’s Spartan facility the load of corrugated cardboard boxes containing the used Nespresso capsules is verified, sorted, weighed and logged on site by technical and quality managers to ensure the recovery all recyclables received.

  • How does Oricol recycle the used capsules?

    To prepare the used Nespresso capsules for recycling, the capsules need to be dried out to allow for the separation process, whereby the aluminium in the used capsules is separated from the coffee grounds. In accordance with the high environmental requirements of the Nespresso recycling programme, Oricol has implemented a method whereby residual heat recovered from another waste drying process is used for our capsules.

    Nespresso has developed a customised aluminium separation machine that Oricol will be using to recycle Nespresso used capsules at its facility in Johannesburg.

  • How does this machine recycle the Nespresso capsules?

    Nespresso recycling machine separates the aluminium in used capsules from the coffee grounds. Capsules are emptied into the feeding hopper of the machine, where a bucket elevator lifts the capsules into a shredder to chop them into tiny pieces. The resulting mixture of shredded aluminium and coffee grounds is then passed through an agitator equipped with a vibrating screen that acts as a filter separating the aluminium and coffee grounds into two separate containers. Once this process of separation is complete, the coffee grounds and aluminium are ready for the next stage in their recycling and revalorisation journey.

  • How does Oricol facilitate the next process of recycling?

    Aluminium: Once the aluminium from the used capsules has been separated from the coffee grounds, it is collected, stored and sent to a smelter where it is melted down, purified, and moulded for use in new aluminium products. Aluminium keeps its properties and its quality during this process and can therefore be recycled infinitely into new products.

    Coffee grounds: The spent coffee grounds from used Nespresso capsules are composted by Oricol using Vermiculture to produce a very high-quality fertilizer for organic farming purposes.

  • What is Vermiculture and how does it work in recycling coffee grounds?

    Vermiculture, also known as worm farming, is a form of composting that makes use of a special species of earthworm to make Vermicompost, which is a nutrient-rich, natural fertilizer and soil conditioner, which is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter.

    Following, pilot projects conducted to test and compare the most effective and sustainable means of composting smaller volumes of organic waste, such as coffee grounds, Oricol have developed a multi-tray vermicomposter unit on site at its Spartan facility.

    This specially developed and selected wormery (enclosed storage unit) houses the earthworm species Eisenia fetida (commonly known as red wriggler) and functions specifically for the purpose of composting the spent coffee grounds from used Nespresso capsules, which will be broken down into organic waste to produce a very high- quality nutrient rich compost.

    The compost produced from the worm farm will then be used to fertilize an organic vegetable garden created on site by Oricol to help educate its staff on growing and maintaining vegetable gardens in their communities as part of the company’s commitment to drive positive change and create social awareness around the importance of implementing sustainable practices.

  • What happens to the rest of the recyclables received with the used capsules?

    Plastic: The Nespresso collection bag used by Club Members to collect used capsules as well as the wheelie bin liners are also completely recyclable and are further sorted, baled, and transported by Oricol to a polyethylene recycler where it undergoes a further recycling process to produce ‘plastic pellets’ that are bagged and then used to produce new plastic articles.

    Cardboard: Similarly the corrugated cardboard boxes used to house the used capsules for transportation are disassembled and baled with other recoverable paper and cardboard materials and sent on to a local paper recycler where it is recycled and used as raw material in paper mills.

  • How does Nespresso capsules made of aluminium rank from an environmental standpoint?

    To enable Nespresso to understand how best to reduce its carbon footprint within every aspect of its business, from the cherry to the cup, without creating negative environmental impacts elsewhere, the company uses a scientific tool called Life cycle assessment (LCA). LCA studies conducted by Quantis examining the carbon footprint of a cup of Nespresso have shown that the energy consumption of the machine and the agricultural production of the coffee have the biggest impacts on the environment. The influence of the capsule packaging is therefore lower than one would generally expect for portioned coffee.

    No other capsule material that we have examined can protect the freshness and aromas of our coffees while interacting with our machines in such a way as to consistently produce the high quality coffee that our consumers have come to expect. In addition, aluminium also has the unique advantage of being infinitely recyclable.

    The use of aluminium also allows us to eliminate the need for any additional packaging or overwrap to protect freshness, and its lightweight provides environmental advantages from a logistics perspective providing further advantages from a sustainability perspective.

  • Does the recycling of used coffee capsules really make a difference?

    Yes. Nespresso Club Members who return their used aluminium capsules for recycling actively contribute to improving the environmental performance of Nespresso coffee and to the revalorization of this precious material. In fact, when compared with primary aluminium sourcing the recycling of aluminium generates only 5% of the carbon emissions associated with mining, refining and smelting and therefore saves up to 95% of the energy needed to produce aluminium from its raw state.

  • Are Nespresso machines energy efficient?

    Nespresso continuously strives to optimize its machines for consumers and businesses. Thanks to innovative improvements we have been able to significantly reduce our carbon footprint: since 2009, all Nespresso consumer machine ranges have been equipped with an automatic power-off function or an automatic stand-by mode.

    The PIXIE, U and Inissia automatically switch off after 9 minutes of inactivity, consuming 60% less energy than A-ranked machines according to FEA/CECED standards. Other machines, such as the Lattissima Pro and the Maestria consume 40% less energy than
    A-ranked machines.

  • How does coffee produce carbon emissions?

    According to a study by the Öko-Institut Freiburg, the highest volumes of greenhouse gases are produced during coffee cultivation (55%) and preparation (30%). Packaging only comes third.

  • Is the environmental performance of portioned coffee per se worse than alternatively packaged coffee?

    No. According to a study by the Öko-Institut Freiburg, the highest volumes of greenhouse gases are produced during coffee cultivation (55%) and preparation (30%). The environmental performance of a cup of coffee strongly depends on cultivation and preparation methods. Using a portioned system comes with the advantage that no extra resources are used and food waste is minimized. Therefore portioned systems can have a better environmental performance than other preparation methods.

  • How does Nespresso measure it sustainability impact?

    We work with a scientific approach called life cycle assessment (LCA) created by the leading environmental consultancy Quantis. This comprehensive method was developed according to the recognized international standards ISO 14040 and ISO 14044. LCA helps Nespresso assess the scope of its environmental impacts and develop strategies to optimize its environmental performance.

  • How does Nespresso engage in carbon efficient coffee production?

    Our production and distribution centers are equipped with a wide range of functions targeted at improving our environmental performance. For example 230,000m3 of gas and 16-20% of energy is saved every year in our state-of-the-art production centers.

    Our production center in Romont is the first production site to be LEED certified in Switzerland (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

  • Does Nespresso use renewable energy?

    Nespresso recognizes its responsibility towards the environment and is committed to managing energy responsibly. We strive to become more energy efficient in all our operations.

frequently asked
questions

Select a question from within
the categories below

Quality Farmers
  • Why does Nespresso have its own coffee sourcing program?

    At Nespresso, we believe that quality and sustainability go hand in hand. We have therefore launched our own coffee sourcing program that is based on both sustainability – considering social, environmental and ecological aspects – and quality.

    We have established long-term direct relationships with the 70,000 farmers participating in the program. With the program we know exactly where our coffees come from and can provide our customers the high quality coffees that they expect from us.

  • Which organizations does Nespresso work with?

    Nespresso collaborates with many well-established NGOs. The AAA program, for example, was launched together with Rainforest Alliance, bringing together Nespresso’s coffee expertise and the NGO’s specialist knowledge for sustainable agriculture. Together with Fairtrade International (as well as the Columbian government and local coffee cooperatives) we have initiated the AAA Farmer Future Program to protect farmers from the risks in the coffee growing sector.

    As a first step we have established a pension fund for farmers in Colombia in March 2014. In South Sudan we collaborate with TechnoServe to re-establish the coffee market that had suffered from three decades of civil war. In 2015, we exported the first coffee from South Sudan to Europe.

  • What are the sustainability criteria of the AAA Sustainable Quality Program?

    The program is based on 296 sustainability criteria for social, economic and environmental sustainability defined by Rainforest Alliance and the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), consisting of:

    56 economic criteria, for example farm management, traceability and training 90 environmental criteria, for example conservation of nature and species, sustainable agriculture and waste management.

    150 Social criteria, for example health and safety, working conditions and community relationships.

    A network of 300 agronomists supports the farmers on-field, developing tailored plans to fulfill these criteria and to improve sustainability and productivity on the farms while maintaining the highest coffee quality standards.

  • Is Nespresso coffee certified by Fairtrade or other labels?

    At Nespresso, we believe that quality and sustainability go hand in hand. We have therefore launched our own coffee sourcing program that is based on both sustainability – considering social, environmental and ecological aspects – and quality. We have established long-term direct relationships with the 70,000 farmers participating in the program. We therefore know exactly where our coffees come from and can provide our customers the high quality coffees that they expect from us.

    Many positive aspects – such as farmer’s cooperatives, proximity to ultimate buyers and a fair price policy – are part of our program.

    Nespresso also collaborates directly with Fairtrade International. In order to enhance the social security for coffee farmers we have initiated the AAA Farmer Future Program in close collaboration with Fairtrade International, the Colombian government and local coffee cooperatives. As a first step we have created a pension fund for farmers in Colombia in order to better protect them from the risks in the coffee growing sector.

  • Which advantages do AAA farmers benefit from?

    Apart from receiving training on how to sustainably grow coffee, the farmers are paid premium prices, 30% - 40% above average market prices and 10% - 15% above market prices for coffees of similar quality.

    The program also improves their social, economic and environmental conditions: an independent study by the Colombian research institute CRECE (Centro de Estudios Regionales Cafeteros y Empresariales) has shown that AAA farmers benefit from 22.6% better social conditions, 52% better environmental conditions and 41% better economic conditions.

Aluminium and Recycling
  • Are the capsules 100% recyclable?

    Yes, Nespresso capsules are recyclable. Nespresso uses aluminium for its capsules, as it is the best material that we have found to protect the quality and freshness of the Nespresso Grand Cru coffees against factors such as oxygen, light and humidity. Aluminium also has the advantage of being infinitely recyclable. As we believe in the value aluminium, we are setting up recycling programmes to ensure that aluminium can get a second life. The spent coffee grounds from used Nespresso capsules can also be re-used in a number of ways, including organic fertilizers or as a source of green energy.

  • Who will recycle the capsules for you?

    Nespresso is working with Oricol Environmental Services (Oricol), an environmental service company that has assumed a leading role in South Africa for the delivery of superior environmental and resource recovery solutions and aims to divert waste from landfill and turn waste into a resource. All used Nespresso capsules are transported by road to Oricol’s Spartan facility in Johannesburg, South Africa, for separation, storage and recycling.

  • How is the destination or use of recycled components determined?

    Oricol handles and determines the future use of both the aluminium and spent coffee grounds derived from recycled capsules. Once separated the aluminium undergoes a further recycling process at a nearby steal smelter where it is reused to make new aluminium products while the coffee grounds are composted to produce a very high-quality fertilizer for organic farming purposes.

  • What is the collection / recovery process of Nespresso used capsules for recycling?

    To encourage Club Members to recycle their used capsules to give them a second life, Nespresso has set up convenient return options to make it easy to recycle.

    Collection points: The Nespresso Boutiques form the heart of the operation in South Africa by providing Club Members with easy access to handy collection points. Nespresso has set up dedicated recycling bins in all Nespresso Boutiques which are conveniently and centrally located V&A Waterfront, Canal Walk, Somerset West in Cape Town, Walmer Park in Port Elizabeth, Hyde Park or Sandton City in Johannesburg, Menlyn in Pretoria and Gateway in Durban.

  • How are capsules transported to Oricol?

    Used capsules collected via the Nespresso Boutiques are consolidated and stored in air-tight recycling wheelie bins. Once full, the bin liner containing used capsules is sealed and packaged by the Boutique team into a corrugated cardboard box for weekly collection by a dedicated courier service. On arrival at Oricol’s Spartan facility the load of corrugated cardboard boxes containing the used Nespresso capsules is verified, sorted, weighed and logged on site by technical and quality managers to ensure the recovery all recyclables received.

  • How does Oricol recycle the used capsules?

    To prepare the used Nespresso capsules for recycling, the capsules need to be dried out to allow for the separation process, whereby the aluminium in the used capsules is separated from the coffee grounds. In accordance with the high environmental requirements of the Nespresso recycling programme, Oricol has implemented a method whereby residual heat recovered from another waste drying process is used for our capsules.

    Nespresso has developed a customised aluminium separation machine that Oricol will be using to recycle Nespresso used capsules at its facility in Johannesburg.

  • How does this machine recycle the Nespresso capsules?

    Nespresso recycling machine separates the aluminium in used capsules from the coffee grounds. Capsules are emptied into the feeding hopper of the machine, where a bucket elevator lifts the capsules into a shredder to chop them into tiny pieces. The resulting mixture of shredded aluminium and coffee grounds is then passed through an agitator equipped with a vibrating screen that acts as a filter separating the aluminium and coffee grounds into two separate containers. Once this process of separation is complete, the coffee grounds and aluminium are ready for the next stage in their recycling and revalorisation journey.

  • How does Oricol facilitate the next process of recycling?

    Aluminium: Once the aluminium from the used capsules has been separated from the coffee grounds, it is collected, stored and sent to a smelter where it is melted down, purified, and moulded for use in new aluminium products. Aluminium keeps its properties and its quality during this process and can therefore be recycled infinitely into new products.

    Coffee grounds: The spent coffee grounds from used Nespresso capsules are composted by Oricol using Vermiculture to produce a very high-quality fertilizer for organic farming purposes.

  • What is Vermiculture and how does it work in recycling coffee grounds?

    Vermiculture, also known as worm farming, is a form of composting that makes use of a special species of earthworm to make Vermicompost, which is a nutrient-rich, natural fertilizer and soil conditioner, which is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter.

    Following, pilot projects conducted to test and compare the most effective and sustainable means of composting smaller volumes of organic waste, such as coffee grounds, Oricol have developed a multi-tray vermicomposter unit on site at its Spartan facility.

    This specially developed and selected wormery (enclosed storage unit) houses the earthworm species Eisenia fetida (commonly known as red wriggler) and functions specifically for the purpose of composting the spent coffee grounds from used Nespresso capsules, which will be broken down into organic waste to produce a very high- quality nutrient rich compost.

    The compost produced from the worm farm will then be used to fertilize an organic vegetable garden created on site by Oricol to help educate its staff on growing and maintaining vegetable gardens in their communities as part of the company’s commitment to drive positive change and create social awareness around the importance of implementing sustainable practices.

  • What happens to the rest of the recyclables received with the used capsules?

    Plastic: The Nespresso collection bag used by Club Members to collect used capsules as well as the wheelie bin liners are also completely recyclable and are further sorted, baled, and transported by Oricol to a polyethylene recycler where it undergoes a further recycling process to produce ‘plastic pellets’ that are bagged and then used to produce new plastic articles.

    Cardboard: Similarly the corrugated cardboard boxes used to house the used capsules for transportation are disassembled and baled with other recoverable paper and cardboard materials and sent on to a local paper recycler where it is recycled and used as raw material in paper mills.

  • How does Nespresso capsules made of aluminium rank from an environmental standpoint?

    To enable Nespresso to understand how best to reduce its carbon footprint within every aspect of its business, from the cherry to the cup, without creating negative environmental impacts elsewhere, the company uses a scientific tool called Life cycle assessment (LCA). LCA studies conducted by Quantis examining the carbon footprint of a cup of Nespresso have shown that the energy consumption of the machine and the agricultural production of the coffee have the biggest impacts on the environment. The influence of the capsule packaging is therefore lower than one would generally expect for portioned coffee.

    No other capsule material that we have examined can protect the freshness and aromas of our coffees while interacting with our machines in such a way as to consistently produce the high quality coffee that our consumers have come to expect. In addition, aluminium also has the unique advantage of being infinitely recyclable.

    The use of aluminium also allows us to eliminate the need for any additional packaging or overwrap to protect freshness, and its lightweight provides environmental advantages from a logistics perspective providing further advantages from a sustainability perspective.

  • Does the recycling of used coffee capsules really make a difference?

    Yes. Nespresso Club Members who return their used aluminium capsules for recycling actively contribute to improving the environmental performance of Nespresso coffee and to the revalorization of this precious material. In fact, when compared with primary aluminium sourcing the recycling of aluminium generates only 5% of the carbon emissions associated with mining, refining and smelting and therefore saves up to 95% of the energy needed to produce aluminium from its raw state.

Carbon Footprint
  • Are Nespresso machines energy efficient?

    Nespresso continuously strives to optimize its machines for consumers and businesses. Thanks to innovative improvements we have been able to significantly reduce our carbon footprint: since 2009, all Nespresso consumer machine ranges have been equipped with an automatic power-off function or an automatic stand-by mode.

    The PIXIE, U and Inissia automatically switch off after 9 minutes of inactivity, consuming 60% less energy than A-ranked machines according to FEA/CECED standards. Other machines, such as the Lattissima Pro and the Maestria consume 40% less energy than A-ranked machines.

  • How does coffee produce carbon emissions?

    According to a study by the Öko-Institut Freiburg, the highest volumes of greenhouse gases are produced during coffee cultivation (55%) and preparation (30%). Packaging only comes third.

  • Is the environmental performance of portioned coffee per se worse than alternatively packaged coffee?

    No. According to a study by the Öko-Institut Freiburg, the highest volumes of greenhouse gases are produced during coffee cultivation (55%) and preparation (30%). The environmental performance of a cup of coffee strongly depends on cultivation and preparation methods. Using a portioned system comes with the advantage that no extra resources are used and food waste is minimized. Therefore portioned systems can have a better environmental performance than other preparation methods.

  • How does Nespresso measure it sustainability impact?

    We work with a scientific approach called life cycle assessment (LCA) created by the leading environmental consultancy Quantis. This comprehensive method was developed according to the recognized international standards ISO 14040 and ISO 14044. LCA helps Nespresso assess the scope of its environmental impacts and develop strategies to optimize its environmental performance.

  • How does Nespresso engage in carbon efficient coffee production?

    Our production and distribution centers are equipped with a wide range of functions targeted at improving our environmental performance. For example 230,000m3 of gas and 16-20% of energy is saved every year in our state-of-the-art production centers.

    Our production center in Romont is the first production site to be LEED certified in Switzerland (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

  • Does Nespresso use renewable energy?

    Nespresso recognizes its responsibility towards the environment and is committed to managing energy responsibly. We strive to become more energy efficient in all our operations.

    To do so we have implemented an energy management system according to DIN EN ISO 50001. All Nespresso locations in Germany are powered by renewable energies. This helps to reduce our annual carbon footprint by several hundred tons.