When you picture an office worker rushing through the CBD on their way to work or to their next
meeting, what do you picture? A sharp suit? High heels? Frantically talking on a phone? A takeaway
coffee? Too often nowadays people are so busy, up against the clock or late. This usually results in
individuals grabbing their caffeine fix on the go. Sadly, it is the environment that is paying the price. Fortunately we have been working with big business on their Corporate Social Responsibility programs and introducing the widely popular Reusable Coffee Cup.
Recent studies suggest that as many as 100 million cups of coffee are sold in Sydney each year, and it
got me thinking. We know that single-use coffee cups are suffocating our earth, well how many of
those come from the hands of office workers grabbing their morning coffee whilst in a hurry? So I
figured, why not take the bull by the horns? Why not take our message about reusable coffee cups
straight to the top, to where we can make an impact on a larger scale. And so we did.
We got in touch with KPMG, one of the top four largest accounting firms in the world. We started a
conversation with the Corporate Citizenship team there, the individuals involved in the social
responsibility and public perception of the company. It was so refreshing to be having conversations
with a team of people working for a company with such a massive global presence and influence but
with such an environmental conscience at the same time.
The climate change team, one of the sub-divisions within KPMG’s Corporate Citizenship committee
were working to come up with a plan in the build-up to National Recycling Week, which ran from 13 th
to 19 th November 2017. Their main focus was also on single-use coffee cups, and what they as a firm
could do to help raise awareness and change behaviours of their staff.
We worked closely with Kaushik Sridhar, the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Leader for
KPMG Australia to come up with a strategy.
It wasn’t long before The Developing Clean were thrilled
to be teaming up with the company to launch KPMG’s own personalised website, for one month
only, where staff could access and purchase their own reusable coffee cup.
The uptake was huge, the comments inspiring, and it was so encouraging to realise how many
people were also ready and willing to make a change for the better. All too often it is easy to play
the blame game and assume there are people who just aren’t interested in helping the environment.
However, this project with KPMG proved that there are so many people out there, interested in, and
willing to do their bit for a more sustainable future.
During National Recycling Week itself, KPMG Australia also took the bold move of running a ‘No Cup
Day’ in their in-house coffee shops and barista carts. The message was simple and clear; for one day
only, no single-use coffee cups were to be used at all. Staff had the option to dine-in, bring their own
cup or purchase a reusable cup on the day.
I had the opportunity to visit the Sydney offices for the
day, to run a pop-up stall where people could purchase their reusable coffee cup on their way to the
KPMG We applaud you. You wanted to get your message across and you did. Loud and clear.
The response was overwhelming. Members of staff were either passing me with their reusable cups
already in hand, or those that did have to stop by to purchase a new one were enthusiastic and all in
favour of the switch. One individual even suggested that KPMG make the switch permanent and
never revert back to the single-use coffee cups.
As National Recycling Week wound up to a close we calculated that, based on the average coffee
consumption by a member of staff, The Developing Clean, together with KPMG Australia,
successfully diverted over 170,000 single-use coffee cups from landfill every year. And that is
without depriving anyone from a single caffeine-fix.
After an incredibly successful campaign with KPMG Australia’s Corporate Social Responsibility team and the positive comments from the
staff there, we want to replicate this with other organisations around Australia. It is becoming more
and more important these days for companies to be aware of their environmental impact, not just
because of the damage to the planet, but because of the effect it has on public perception and
corporate reputation. It really is a win win situation to get on board. If you would like to have a chat
with us to discuss how we can help your business work towards a cleaner future, visit our website,
or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org