The Role of the Circular Economy in the Coffee Value Chain and its Contribution Towards the Sustainability Development Goal 12 set out by the United Nations

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Denagher, Shannon
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The circular economy is a strategy that is gaining interest in resolving environmental and
resource challenges that the food and beverage industry is facing. This study focused on
how the circular economy can play a key role in the achievement of the sustainable
development goal 12 of sustainable production and consumption that has been set out by
the United Nations, with an objective to accomplishing the performance indicators
identified. The worlds increasing population will result in increasing demands for food
and beverages globally, placing increasing pressure on the already suffering environment
and natural resources.
An overview of the current issues faced by the food and beverage industry and the coffee
industry was given during this study. Spent coffee grounds normally end their lifecycle
as waste in landfill resulting in greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide
being emitted into the environment.
An evaluation was conducted on the various components that can be extracted from spent
coffee grounds, and how value can be added to the spent coffee grounds either by the
components of the spent coffee grounds that can be extracted, or the value added using
spent coffee beans to produce energy.
In conclusion, the management of waste spent coffee grounds into energy and using the
energy produced to roast coffee beans or use biofuel in various transportation steps along
the coffee value chain is a promising outlook on how the circular economy can be used
to achieve the Sustainability Development Goal 12 set out by the United Nations. Energy
can be produced through various methods such as lipid extraction to create a biooil or
through mixing spent coffee grounds with saw dust to create a pellet to burn in boilers.
Future focus is required in the area to ensure all stakeholders of the coffee value chain are
engaged and encourage strategic business models, with the uptake of the circular
economy to achieve Goal 12 of the Sustainability Development Goals set out by the
United Nations.