Sustainable Coffee Challenge


Convened & facilitated by Conservation International, the Sustainable Coffee Challenge unites and urges the coffee sector and conservation partners across the industry to spur the actions and investments necessary to make coffee the first sustainable agricultural product in the world. Launched in December 2015, the Challenge focuses on increasing transparency, driving demand for sustainability across the value chain, and unlocking unprecedented action – individual and collective – necessary to address key challenges facing the sector.


The Sustainable Coffee Challenge has over 150 partners from across the coffee sector, including coffee roasters and traders — ranging from mainstream to specialty — as well as NGOs, trade association, governments, donor agencies, certification bodies and others. The complete list is available here: The Challenge is made possible through financial contributions from key partners and strategic donors, including Starbucks, McDonald’s, S&D Coffee and Tea, SAFE Platform, UCDA, USAID, Walmart Foundation, and others.

Key activities:

A key pillar of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge is to define a common vision and set-out a collective journey towards a fully sustainable coffee sector by 2050. Partners rally around a set of 2050 goals and interim 2025 targets, which are focused and organized around 4 compass points, i.e. improving livelihoods + well-being, building resilient supply, conserving nature and strengthening market demand.  In addition, there is an overarching target related to securing 100 million tonnes of carbon by 2025 and upwards to 1.5GT by 20250.

In addition, the Challenge hosts a ‘Commitments Hub’ where all stakeholders publicly state and report their commitments towards sustainable coffee. This resource fosters greater transparency and allows to better leverage experience of others. The Sustainable Coffee Challenge also aims at showing how different pathways align towards common outcomes through a Sustainability Framework co-developed with the Global Coffee Platform.

Last, to spark more collaborative efforts on key coffee sustainability issues (e.g. labor, renovation & rehabilitation, sustainable sourcing, and forest conversation), the Challenge facilitates Collective Action Network. Through these networks, Challenge partners engage in a dialogue on key issues to share experience and lessons learned, identify knowledge gaps, develop resources and drive progress against collective, global targets.

Signature projects/tools:

For more resources, see: and for more info reach out to

Priority Countries and corresponding areas of activities:

The Sustainable Coffee Challenge has not identified priority countries. Current investments through its Collective Action Networks are being developed and/or implemented in respectively: Brazil (Labour conditions & worker rights); Colombia (R&R and mapping + monitoring forest and coffee); Indonesia (mapping + monitoring forest and coffee); and, Peru R&R + innovative finance models).