Here at Balzac’s, we are continuously committed to reducing the environmental impact of our operations, both in our cafés and through our coffee production. We are always looking at new opportunities for utilizing sustainable practices whenever there is a viable opportunity to do so. Please continue reading to see the steps we take in our coffee roasting, cafés, communities and through the products we sell, to reduce our impact on the environment.
We roast the finest selection of high grown Arabica beans in single 35 or 70 kilogram batches with the eco-friendly Loring Smart Roaster, reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared to a conventional coffee roaster. The Loring Smart Roaster is the most environmentally friendly roaster on the market today, based on their design which eliminates the need for a secondary afterburner system to deal with the naturally occurring smoke in the roast process.
Balzac’s is proudly a certified green restaurant and was the first coffee company in Canada to become certified with LEAF (Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice). LEAF is a nation-wide, third-party sustainability and certification program for restaurants and foodservice facilities. LEAF is dedicated to improve the environmental practices of the foodservice industry by conducting thorough environmental audits and providing specific recommendations to help companies reduce their environmental footprint.
Balzac’s is extremely proud to be partnered with Second Harvest and Food Rescue.ca. Balzac’s was the first coffee company to register all café locations on FoodRescue.ca and was also the first business to register stores in multiple cities.
Balzac’s is partnered with Live Green Toronto. In 2018 we were awarded Toronto’s Greenest Coffee Shop.
Balzac’s is partnered with Tap. A full service app that allows you to find nearby refill stations, so you never have to buy bottled water again. We fill water bottles for free in all of our cafés. Click to download the app for iOS or Android.
When possible, Balzac’s sources mostly local, artisanal brands which reflect the same business philosophies as our own. Local, Natural, Sustainable and Artisanal are the four cornerstones of our business practices and what we stand by. Here are some examples of the efforts we make to uphold these practices:
• We only use 100% organic and local dairy products
• All our cocoa, sugar and espresso coffee are Fairtrade Organic
• We provide organic and local juices and apple cider, as well as use only organic maple syrup
• Naturally sourced spring water – Eska
• We use energy efficient appliances (Energy Star), such as our dishwashers and fridges
• We encourage guests to opt ‘for here’ to enjoy their coffee and treats at our cafés using traditional cups, plates, and cutlery
• Guests can also bring their own reusable cup and receive $0.25 off their beverage price. We sell a wide variety of re-useable cups. Starting as low as $8. To view our selection, click here
• We give complimentary water in our cafés and use high quality, dishwasher safe plastic glasses
• We give dogs complimentary biscuits and water (note outdoors only – no pets allowed in cafés)
• As part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability, Balzac’s proudly uses Birchwood Cutlery and biodegradable straws in all of our café locations. Our biodegradable cutlery and straws contain TDPA (totally degradable plastic additives), allowing them to start degradation on disposal. To learn more about TDPA, click here
Our double wall cups, which launched in the fall of 2018, are made from PLA (Poly Lactic Acid extracted from renewable resources) and are compostable in a commercial composting facility, rather than made from PE (Polyethylene), which takes longer to break down and has to go through a recycling process separate to other recyclables. Our yellow lids, which are placed on top of our cups, are made from polypropylene and are recyclable. To learn more about the benefits of PLA lined paper cups, click here.
Our Biodegradable wrapped straws are produced locally at Stone Straw’s Brantford, Ontario plant. These straws also contain TDPA. The straws, when discarded in soil or landfill with the presence of micro-organisms, moisture, and oxygen, will achieve 60% biodegradation, decomposing into simple materials found in nature within 20-24 months and fully degradable within 24-36 months when disposed of in the environment in the presence of oxygen and UV light/heat. To learn more, click here.
support of environmental causes
Among the many organizations we support, some are directly committed to environmental issues such as NGEA (Next Generation Energy Alternatives), which is a Toronto-based charity that promotes renewable energy technologies. We also support the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival, which is an environmental media arts festival that showcases engaging and artistic films to create a greater public awareness on a broad range of environmental issues.
Balzac’s has also had the honour to partner with Canadian author and bird lover Margaret Atwood in creating The Atwood Blend, a Smithsonian Institute certified BIRD FRIENDLY® blend. $1.00 of the proceeds from each lb. of coffee sold is donated to the Pelee Island Bird Observatory (PIBO). PIBO is a non-profit organization devoted to the study and conservation of migratory birds.