Recycling coffee grounds as fuel

Country: Global

Impact Area

  • Nutrition
  • Water
  • Rural Development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Compliance
  • Community engagement
Sep 26, 2012, updated September 2012


Recycling coffee grounds as fuel
RENEWABLE ENERGY: Co-generation plant at Mainz coffee factory, Germany, where spent coffee grounds are used as fuel.

The Cagayan de Oro factory in the Philippines is one of Nestlé’s largest soluble coffee operations. It uses spent coffee grounds as fuel, a good example of how Nestlé puts environmental initiatives into practice. This integrated approach to managing by-products and producing energy, combined with a change from heavy fuel oil to diesel oil, has had a number of positive environmental results in 1999:

  • decreased reliance on nonrenewable fuels,
  • saving of more than 4000 tonnes of oil equivalents,
  • reduction in SOx emissions by nearly 300 tonnes,
  • prevention of about 70 000 tonnes of waste going to landfill.

Nestlé’s worldwide operations now include more than 20 factories that are using spent coffee grounds as a supplemental fuel. This amounts to about 800 000 tonnes per year of spent coffee grounds that do not have to be landfilled. And it reduces the need for non-renewable fuels by the corresponding amount of oil equivalents.

Programme description

Value to Society

Value to Nestlé

Next Steps

UN Millenium Development Goal

  • 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • 2 Achieve universal primary education
  • 3 Promote gender equality and empower women
  • 4 Reduce child mortality
  • 5 Improve maternal health
  • 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • 7 Ensure environmental sustainability
  • 8 Develop global partnerships