Case Studies

Dear Green

About the business


Lisa Lawson started Dear Green – a coffee roasters that roasts speciality coffee – in December 2011. Named in homage to the City of Glasgow, known as ‘The Dear Green Place’, the business has continually grown, going from strength to strength since its opening ten years ago.


The roastery and showroom are located in the heart of Glasgow's creative East End, just a stone's throw away from the legendary music venue.


The business prides itself on sourcing and roasting only the highest quality of specialty grade coffee and carry an ethical and social conscience in every element of its operations. Dear Green, is extremely particular about which direct traders and farms it works alongside, selecting only a few to regularly supply their stock to ensure transparency, traceability, and sustainability in every coffee they serve.  


Lisa’s first interaction with Business Glasgow was to request advice on sustaining business growth for Dear Green.  


How is Dear Green unique?


At Dear Green the core values were never decided upon by a 'Corporate and Social Responsibility' statement, they have been ingrained in everyday practices from the very start thanks to the experiences, beliefs, and standards of the founder and the team who have been hand-picked to grow the business. 


Ethical Employer - Dear Green has done everything it can to ensure the team is never underpaid, undervalued, or discriminated against. The business demonstrates its ethical values beyond choosing sustainable suppliers by advocating for and adopting ethical practices in its human resource department. For example, having never hired any employee to work on less than the Real Living Wage. Furthermore, Dear Green, have an open conversation policy covering career progression, education, and training.


Environmentally Aware - The packaging the business uses is biodegradable, reflective of Dear Green’s goals to recycle, reuse, compost, minimise waste, and reduce packaging. Dear Green prides itself on having been an active recycling business since its birth, before Climate Change awareness hit the headlines! The business strives to continue its efforts to find the best environmental solution in all they do, in fact, only recently was the business responsible for organising the world’s first single-use cup-free coffee festival


Rigid Sourcing Policies - Dear Green is committed to always having direct trade links and personally visit its coffee origin locations to develop and maintain relationships with importers, exporters, and producers. The business also looks after the other side of their supply chain by being SALSA accredited, which ensures a 'food safe' and fully traceable product. This entails regular audits and strict record keeping.  Sourcing through direct trade links allows Dear Green to pay a premium above the commodity rate and guarantees absolute transparency and integrity in all they do. 


Quality and Sustainability - Dear Green only sources, roasts, and supplies 'specialty grade' coffee. This coffee has a minimum score of 80/100 when graded for attributes such as aroma, flavour, and uniformity. By having a Q Grader in their team, licensed by the Coffee Quality Institute, Dear Green know for sure that they are investing in the right beans! By investing in quality, the business is investing in a sustainable future for coffee producers. Dear Green also donate annually to World Coffee Research and so, are able to fund programs to identify barriers to quality for producers, the effects of climate change, disease, pests, and low yields.


Their work with the Local Community 


Alongside their respectable ethics, Dear Green works with a range of charitable organisations and is committed to donating 2% of its annual revenue/turnover to charitable organisations. To see a full list of the charities the business works with, click here.


A Glasgow First


Dear Green Ltd became the first Scottish coffee company to obtain the coveted B Corp Certification following an assessment of their ethical statements business practices and their commitment to putting people and the planet before profit. 


Thanks to the B Corp community, Dear Green is now part of the B Corp Climate Collective, committing to the Race to Zero to address the climate emergency and meet, and (exceed), the Paris Agreement target to achieve a zero-carbon economy.


Business Glasgow Support


Business Glasgow has worked with Lisa and the Dear Green team for over six years. The most recent support provided Dear Green with legal guidance to assist with obtaining B Corp Accreditation. 


Through the Business Growth Programme, Dear Green were granted access to Harper Macleod solicitors who helped change their Companies Articles of Association, facilitating a restructure of the business and resulted in the protection of Dear green’s mission going forward as a benefit corporation. Dear Green, was also able to access Connect Three HR support through the Programme who helped with a new HR strategy. 


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