Sustainability – The Sprocket Way!

At Sprocket Roasters, our focus is to minimise environmental impact at the roasting stage as the bean travels from producer to cup. Sustainability isn’t just another catchphrase around here, it’s been the way since opening our doors back in 2009. We roast our ethically sourced beans using innovative roasting technology that we have designed, patented and manufactured locally ourselves.But the real wow-factor of our roaster is that it has been converted to run on alternative energy products instead of fossil fuels. Creating a roaster that is fuelled on bioenergy is a world first in the coffee roasting industry, and something we are very proud of here at Sprocket. This advancement in roasting technology means end of life products like spent coffee grinds, along with a wide range of other organic material that usually ends up in landfill, are turned into fuel to power the roaster every time it’s fired up. Since we use an indirect heat exchanger, all this magic in converting bioenergy happens separate to the roasting chamber. Even the coffee husks, usually a waste product when roasting, are converted into fuel. Complete combustion of our biomass results in negligible smoke, odour, carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide emissions. The outcome is an alternative way of roasting that is extremely kind to the environment. [Insert tree hug and green-panther fist pump]. Our carbon conscious roasting philosophy has been recognized and highly commended at the Australian Green Globe Awards for Most Sustainable Australian Small Business, and also acknowledged at the Hunter Innovation Awards. We have also been recently commended at the Australian Bioenergy Awards, Small Scale Category, for our innovative roasting technology.

Our Commitment:

From the coffee beans we source, right through to our compostable packaging, we take our environmental responsibility very seriously. Here are just some of the small daily ways we aim to reduce our output at Sprocket’s coffee roastery / workshop:

Sustainable Sourcing:

Sprocket sources coffee both farm direct and via sustainable Australian green bean suppliers who adhere to the EcoVadis standard, ensuring adherence and upholding sustainability benchmarks in the industry. EcoVadis operates as a sustainability assessment agency with a distinct focus on evaluating corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability efforts. Sprocket has partnered with green bean producers and importers who continuously aim to improve their environmental and social performance, align practices with global sustainability standards and champion responsible business conduct within the coffee import sector. 

Our suppliers collaborate closely with local village cooperatives to fund projects, such as constructing classrooms and ensuring access to clean drinking water and sanitisation facilities. By purchasing the coffee fruit above market price and offering a bonus incentive payment to village cooperatives to enhance cultivation practices, this further promotes sustainability and improves the quality of the coffee fruit. 

Sprocket roasts Fairtrade and organic coffee options, as well as showcasing single origins from smaller farms and emerging global producers. Coming from farming backgrounds ourselves, we will always endeavour to support the farmers in the coffee industry we are so reliant on and source beans from sustainable producers in countries of origin. This will ensure we can continue roasting into the future for many years to come.

Compostable Coffee Bags:

The Sprocket team has been working hard to team with environmentally forward packaging suppliers and deliver products that are more sustainable. Given the difficulties surrounding the varying recycling capabilities across Australia right now, we have chosen to move across to compostable bags at the roastery. Our 250g, 500g bags and 1kg bags are classified as fully compostable and still have all the functions we value here at Sprocket - like ripper zippers and a one-way valve. The stickers we use on our bags are also certified compostable. Our compostable bags can compost in less than 90 days in commercial composting facilities (longer if composting at home). They are made entirely with certified materials after the EU standard EN13432.

Solar Powered Coffee Roastery:

Not only does our innovative roasting design process drastically cut emissions and have lower running costs, but Sprocket's roastery and machine workshop runs almost entirely on solar power - with 62 solar panels on our roof, this equates to roughly a 90% reduction on our traditional usage! Each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar generated reduces greenhouse gas emissions like CO2, and other dangerous pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and sulphur oxides. Running on solar also reduces water consumption and withdrawal. Combined with our innovative roasting process, and recyclable and reusable packaging, Sprocket is committed to environmental sustainability at our stage of the coffee life cycle as beans move from crop to cup.

Wholesale orders:

We send out all local café wholesale orders in 5kg food-grade, reusable drums with valves to minimise the use of unnecessary coffee bag waste. We have been doing this since opening our doors in 2009 and were one of the first roasters in Australia to bring this practice in! For wholesale orders afield, we send out in plain, stamped compostable bags to reduce unnecessary packaging on the environment.

Shipping / Packaging:

All of our orders are shipped out in recycled/repurposed boxes, or are sent in 100% recycled padded mailers. 

Smoke and Emissions:

In comparison with other coffee roasters, Sprocket’s patented roasting technology dramatically reduces smoke and emissions, negating the need for an after burner. Unlike conventional drum roasters (which work like a concrete mixer), we use air to move the beans around. By transferring the heat generated by combusting recycled hardwood pellets, coffee grinds, and other organic waste, we create our own fuel using an enclosed system that dramatically reduces emissions.

Coffee Chaff and Coffee Grinds: 

Usually a waste product for most coffee roasters, Sprocket has developed a patented process that uses the husks and grinds to convert into fuel for roasting. Talk about a circular roasting economy!

Biodegradable takeaway coffee cups:

Sprocket has been using BioPak cups since our inception. BioPak compostable cups are an eco-friendly alternative to conventional plastic cups. BioCup takeaway cups are made from bioplastic and bioplastic-lined premium paper certified industrially compostable to Australian Standards AS4736. Made using 60% less energy than regular take away cups, they are lined with natural PLA, not plastic and also come with a matching CPLA biodegradable lid.


Sprocket stocks KeepCups for our café clients and at the roastery door, and has supported the reusable cup initiative for the last decade! 

Reusable Coffee Storage at Home:

Sprocket is a huge proponent of reusable coffee canisters, such as the Airscape, which keep goods fresh with the patented inner lid which forces excess air out and keeps freshness in.Many of our regular customers bring their vessel of choice into the roastery to re-fill their beans. 

Plastic Straws:

Sprocket has stopped the supply of plastic straws at our roastery and events.

 Coffee Sacks: 

Our coffee sacks are recycled and upcycled through our local garden nursery and community, free of charge! If you’re in the market for some sacks, please we can set some aside for collection after the next roast – they move fast!