Air Quality, Worker Safety and Coffee Roasting

Posted: November 28, 2018

Air quality, worker safety and coffee roasting has recently been in the news again. Colectivo has always taken the safety of our workplace seriously, but recent reporting has caused some confusion with several of our customers. We’re taking the opportunity to readdress this issue so all of our customers and coworkers get clear, solid information regarding our workplace.

Although some companies have only recently taken steps to mitigate problems with their air quality, Colectivo addressed this issue comprehensively over three and a half years ago. In the spring/summer of 2015 Colectivo hired GZA Geo Environmental to examine our air quality. The scientists from GZA spent over 4 days in our facility on three separate visits. Our roasters wore “sampling vests” during their 8 hours of work to sample exactly the air they were breathing. The scientists also took samples throughout our plant, including the packaging and grinding areas. All of the measurements, save one, tested safe with levels below recommended limits for diacetyl. The levels of 2, 3 pentanedione were so low as to not be measurable. In the case of one “short term” sample that was just above the recommended limits, we installed a ventilation hood. GZA returned after the hood was installed and confirmed the hood mitigated the issue.

All of us at Colectivo are proud of the work we do, the cafes we build and the roasting plant that creates awesome, fresh coffee every workday. It is a disservice to our hardworking staff that the reporting on this topic has been confusing. We all worked hard to create a safe, clean, positive environment to work in. In fact, the lead scientist at GZA asked permission to use our systems and processes in an industry report, as a model for other companies to follow. He was impressed to find very clean air. In fact, he said our air had nearly the same amount of CO2 as outside air…whereas most indoor environments have twice as much. This is testament to a sophisticated HVAC system and the original intent when creating our roasting plant- to have a great place to work.

For any that are interested, here is a link to an open letter we posted on our website in October of 2015.

Here’s To Fresh Air!


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