May 21st, 2007 03:09 PM EDT
International Paper and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters have been awarded a 2007 Sustainability Award from the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), the world's largest coffee trade association. The sustainability awards are given annually to those in the specialty coffee industry that have created innovative projects to expand and promote sustainability.
The two companies received the award for the category of "Sustainable Business Partnerships Resulting in a Sustainable Product" in honor of their partnership that resulted in the ecotainer(TM) cup -- the first hot paper beverage cup made from fully renewable resources. The ecotainer, which was unveiled last summer, is lined with a bio-plastic derived from corn, making it compostable under the proper conditions.
"We are very excited that our partnership with Green Mountain Coffee is being recognized by the SCAA," said Austin Lance, vice president and general manager of International Paper Foodservice, in a prepared statement. "Finding a partner such as GMCR whose core values align with ours allows us to drive an increased focus on sustainability through industry innovation. We will continue to develop products that reinforce our commitment to environmental stewardship."
Said Paul Comey, vice president, environmental affairs at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters: "We're so pleased to be recognized for bringing this product to market with International Paper. This is a great example of how good business partnerships can make a positive impact on the world and in particular, on the environment, which is the real winner here. This cup is an important step in our continuing efforts to bring new, more sustainable solutions to market."
Each year, Americans use more than 15 billion paper hot cups, and that number is expected to grow to 23 billion by 2010. Conventional hot paper cups use a waterproof lining made from a petroleum-based plastic that is not sustainable. By choosing to utilize a corn-based cup liner, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters alone will conserve the consumption of nearly a quarter of a million pounds of non-renewable petrochemical materials every year.