- wake up and smell the coffee

Italian coffee giant illycaffé – whose famous brand of coffee is sold in over 140 countries – has recognised the critical importance of responsible sourcing for its business and the wider coffee industry.

DNV GL Broader view Themes
illy coffee

In 2011, it became the first ever company to receive DNV’s Responsible Supply Chain Process Certification – recognizing sustainability in every aspect of its coffee sourcing from the coffee estate to the café espresso.

illycaffé wanted to be certified by a third party as a recognition for its efforts in developing a sustainable model along the entire production chain. 

A complex global value chain

illycaffé is based in Italy but buys green coffee directly from growers in Brazil, Central America, India and Africa and has a worldwide chain of coffee bars and distributors. As part of managing this diverse supply chain, the company has committed to creating shared value for all its stakeholders, including paying its growers higher than market prices in recognition of the quality of the product.

The holistic certification process of illycaffé’s complex global supply chain saw DNV GL analyse their long-term sustainability strategies, the organisation’s roles and responsibilities, business conduct, stakeholder engagement activities and communication practices. The organisation had to demonstrate a robust approach to managing risks such as environmental management, product safety and the human rights management of its suppliers.

Brewing success

Since achieving the certification, illycaffé has continued to grow. It now generates a gross revenue of over €360 million (2012) and promotes new technology such as coffee machines that consume less than half a liter of water per kg of parchment coffee produced.