Considering Ona Coffee is located in Canberra, its new solar panels might have been a bit underutilised of late as the nation’s capital has been shrouded in bushfire smoke and policy indecision. Nevertheless, “sustainability and more energy conscious practices are at the forefront of our immediate goals,” says General Manager Tom Beaumont.
The solar PV array, comprising approximately 530 panels, spans the entire roof of Ona Coffee’s Fyshwick headquarters just outside Canberra, supplying 100% of the energy to the roastery, offices, and the adjacent café. For Founder and former World Barista Champion Sestic, the switch to solar is part of a holistic connection to origin. “Over several years, we have been investing in ways to make coffee farms more sustainable,” says Sestic, “starting from the soil and trees through to post-harvest techniques, such as carbonic maceration, which uses significantly less water for fermentation.”
“However, we also need to acknowledge that on the consumer end of the coffee chain, there are many ways we can be more sustainable.”
One might think 100% solar was achievement enough, but Ona Coffee is expanding and taking its solar ethos with it. In 2020 Ona Coffee will open a new premise in Melbourne’s trendy Brunswick, and solar will play a big part. “We’re looking at every single aspect of the planning, building and operations of our Brunswick site to ensure that we are as sustainable as possible,” says Beaumont, “Part of this will be adopting solar power for our energy use, as well as using a range of recycled and repurposed materials.”
As someone who once lived in Brunswick, I can tell you that there is no shortage of coffee places, but nor is there a shortage of sunshine. Ona Coffee’s solar roasted coffee will undoubtedly put it ahead of the game.
“From our connection to origin through to our partnerships with our customers across Australia and the world, we’re putting measures into practice to make coffee more sustainable,” says Marketing Manager Jordan Montgomery.“We can’t leave these decisions and actions for future generations to deal with. It’s our responsibility to act on issues of climate, waste and energy now.”