Ecosystem conservation and environmental stewardship have long been integral to illy’s sustainability practices. In addition to developing and promoting environmentally sound cultivation practices, illy seeks to reduce the environmental impact of the entire production process.
The commitment starts in producing countries where illy’s agronomists and Università del caffè faculty work side-by-side with farmers to share the latest research and implement best practices, emphasizing low impact, manual methods.
Minimal water usage, waste water reduction, natural shading of plants with native trees and minimization of synthetic product usage are among chief protocols.
The commitment continues in Trieste, Italy, at illy’s sole production facility, where the world's best Arabica comes together to comprise the illy blend. Expert roasting takes place in an ultra-low emissions facility, where smoke discharge stands at one twentieth the legally permitted limit.
A recently completed project goes yet further, recovering heat produced during roasting and transforming it into hot water used throughout the plant. illy’s longstanding environmental policies and practices have merited numerous, major international recognitions and certifications.
illycaffè is a major supporter of Instituto Terra, a Brazil-based, non-profit organization founded by Sebastião and Leila Salgado focused on restoring, protecting and preserving La Foresta (Mata) Atlantica, considered one of world’s the five most important ecosystems.
In 2008, the organization created a comprehensive manual detailing best practices for recovery and optimal management of the forest, and distributed it to coffee growers, universities and research centers throughout the country. The Insituto’s other work includes research into the development of native trees throughout its adopted ecosystem.