Sustainability Award: Individual


History of the Award

Since 2004, the SCA has recognized outstanding work in the field of sustainability with the our annual Sustainability Awards. The projects, business models, and people receiving these awards are not only dedicated to confronting the enormous challenges facing our industry – from climate change to gender inequality – but also to collaborating across geographies, cultures, and supply chain roles, and to sharing the lessons they have learned for the benefit of the entire coffee sector. The 2019 Sustainability Awards will be presented at the Re:co Symposium, held April 10 and 11 in Boston, USA.


This award celebrates individuals who have significantly contributed to advancing sustainability in the coffee industry, for example by raising awareness of key issues or developing a project or business model that generates positive social and environmental impacts. In addition to recognizing the achievements of the winner, the award also aims to inspire others to initiate similar endeavors. Please note that individuals must have spent at least three years working in coffee to be eligible for this award and that products, companies, business models, and ideas do not qualify for the award.

Individual applications will be judged on the following four criteria:

  1. Exceptional approach. Individuals will pursue equity, prioritize mutual benefits, and contribute to the sustainability of the coffee industry by addressing intertwined social, economic, and environmental challenges facing the coffee sector.

  2. Adaptability. Individuals will demonstrate the ability bridge diverse cultures and geographies.

  3. Impact. Individuals will clearly articulate how they have achieved meaningful results.

  4. Global inspiration. Individuals will galvanize industry members to action in support of specialty coffee's contribution to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Please see sidebar for more information.

Eligibility and Process

This annual award is open to SCA members with at least three years of experience in the coffee industry (applicants do not need to have been association members for three years). Individuals may self-nominate or apply on behalf of someone else. SCA staff and members of its Board of Directors, Advisory Councils, and Guild Executive Councils are not eligible for this award.


  • Reimbursement of up to $1,000 for US-based organizations ($1,500 for international organizations) from winner's residence to Boston, USA, for travel and lodging expenses to attend 2019 Re:co Symposium.
  • Complimentary Re:co Symposium & Expo admission for one, and complimentary Expo admission for 2 others.