As part of its mission, the SCAA is actively involved in issues related to sustainability and looks to its members to take leadership roles in sustainable practices. With this in mind, the Sustainability Council created the Sustainability Award in 2003 to promote, encourage and honor the efforts of those serving as role models in fields of sustainability. Each year, the Sustainability Council reviews dozens of applications. The awards are presented at the SCAA’s Annual Exposition, The Event, during the SCAA Awards Reception.

Meet your 2014 Award Recipient and view a list of past recipients to date: click here

Millennium Development Goals

In July 2005, the SCAA sent a letter to the United Nations’ Secretary General Kofi Annan to pledge support on behalf of the specialty coffee industry for the principles of the Global Compact and the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. Read the SCAA’s Letter to the U.N. at:

What is the Global Compact?

The Global Compact is a learning network with participation by U.N. organizations, companies, business associations, NGOs, and trade unions. Its nine principles are focused specifically on the implementation of responsible business practices in the area of human rights, labor standards and environmental performance. Currently there are about 2000 companies and organizations participating in more than 100 countries, including Starbucks, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Nike, and Unilever, among others. For more information go to:

In September 2000, 189 heads of state ratified the Millennium Declaration – an unprecedented global commitment and one of the most significant United Nations documents of recent time.  It offers a common and integrated shared vision on how to tackle some of the major challenges facing the world today. The declaration resulted in the creation of eight “Millennium Development Goals” (MDGs) that set forth specific targets to be achieved by 2015 in the areas of reducing poverty, improving the quality of peoples’ lives, ensuring environmental sustainability and building business partnerships to ensure that globalization becomes an increasingly positive force for all the people in the world. For more information go to:

  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 a global partnership for development



This award acknowledges innovative projects to expand and promote sustainability within the coffee world while inspiring others to initiate similar endeavors and the individuals, businesses and organizations who created and implemented the project. Please note that the Sustainability Award is only for projects that have been implemented for 1 year or more. Products, companies, business models or ideas do not qualify for the award. Your project will be judged on the following four criteria:

  1. Projects that have undertaken innovative measures to include all or several aspects of social, economic and environmental development. Projects that have enhanced the long-term sustainability of the coffee industry by improving conditions for the people depending on coffee for their livelihood and/or creating conditions that have resulted in improved long-term durability of the project, in either producing or consuming areas across the industry.
  2. Projects that are replicable; they can be successfully implemented in a variety of locations and contexts.
  3. Projects that are scalable; they can be successfully adapted at both larger and smaller levels of the specialty coffee industry, hence making them more easily implemented.
  4. Projects that inspire other industry members who wish to contribute toward the specialty coffee industry’s desire to achieve the targets set forth by United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Please see sidebar for more information.



This annual award is open to SCAA members and non-members who are involved in the coffee industry. Applications must be submitted on behalf of a project implemented for a minimum of 1 year. Individuals, organizations, businesses, farms and cooperatives may submit applications for multiple projects or programs. The deadline to submit and application has passed. Meet the 2015 award recipient.

AWARD RECIPIENT will receive

(1) 4-night hotel accommodation chosen by SCAA at the 2015 Symposium & the Event

(1) Reimbursement of up to $1,000 for US-based organizations ($1,500 for international organizations) from winner's residence to Seattle for travel to the 2015 Symposium & the Event.

(1) 1 Complimentary Symposium & Event Admission and 2 Complimentary Event Admissions

See additional award recipient prizes plus second & third place recipient prizes: Full prize list