Coffee Rainforest Farm
As you may know, emitting carbon into the atmosphere creates an insulating effect around our planet, trapping in warmth radiated by the sun, and possibly contributing to “global warming”. A simple act such as driving a car can have serious implications here. An automobile that gets 20 miles per gallon of gasoline emits about (1) one pound of carbon per mile driven. So, driving 15,000 miles per year, each car emits 15,000 pounds of carbon – 7.5 tons!
As with many people, we are concerned with our “carbon footprint” – i.e., how much net carbon we emit into the atmosphere every year, less any carbon we manage to sequester (absorb from the atmosphere).
In the Fall of 2008, we had an auditing company analyze our carbon emissions, and provide guidelines as to how much carbon we sequester through our company's own mixed agro-forestry coffee farms.
Our Carbon Footprint Estimate:
As shown in the graph below, Rogers Family Company's total carbon dioxide emissions in 2007 was 7,465 tons.
(0.8 pounds of carbon dioxide released per pound of coffee produced)
(Note that, sadly, we sold our brewery, so our actual output is more like 7,497 tons).
Our Carbon Sequestration Estimate:
As applied to coffee farming, the following are guidelines for typical rates of carbon sequestration:
- Growing forests (i.e., not old-growth steady-state forests) can sequester 2 tons of CO2 / hectare / year or more over a 100-yr growth period.
- Sun-grown coffee plantations can sequester over 6 tons of CO2 / hectare / year (assuming 7-yr lifecycle, biomass NOT burned at end of cycle).
- Mixed agro-forestry (coffee understory with fast-growing rainforest trees) can sequester up to 20 tons / hectare / year (assumes 10-yr lifecycle, biomass NOT burned upon harvest / replacement).
Notes: Variations in age and composition of both the coffee and forest portions of plantations can change growth rates by factors of 2x-3x, so accurate estimates of age and species composition are critical. However, this is a good guideline. (A hectare is about 2.5 acres)
Over the last 10 years, our company has been purchasing farm properties in Mexico and Central America with the intention of A.) creating completely organic and sustainable farms, and B.) restoring lands, that were once clear-cut, to their natural rainforest state.
Currently, we own and directly control the hectares of land shown below by type:
|Hectares||Seq. Tons/HC||Total Seq. Carbon|
|Canopied Coffee or Mixed Agro Farm||637||20||12740|
|Total Tons Carbon Sequestered by our Company:||13,244|
|Total Tons Emitted by our Company:||-7497|
|Amount that we are Carbon Negative:||5,747 tons!|
Thus, you can see that we are a carbon-free company - and very proud of it.
NOTE: The Rogers Family Company’s carbon footprint was calculated according to standards set forth by The Climate Registry’s (TCR) General Reporting Protocol wherever possible. For certain portions of our carbon footprint not specifically covered by TCR, we relied on calculation tools provided by The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative and on research published in peer-reviewed scientific jourals.