For us, sustainability is key and every small change accumulates to make a larger environmental impact. At Lebkov, over the last ten years, we have been moving slowly towards more and more organic (and local) products. Last June (2023), we began serving organic coffee; a year ago we started using organic eggs (no small feat considering we get through 80.000 eggs per year); and we have already been using organic farmers cheese for over 10 years.
Lebkov has been offering 5 different types of alternative milk - organic almond, soy & coconut, Oatly & Sproud - at no extra charge for a year and a half. However cow milk is still our 2nd most used ingredient, we serve around 80.000 liters of cow milk a year and we wanted to do better! On National Animal Day (4 October 2023), we started serving biodynamic (organic) milk, from the brand Kalverliefde.
We are proud to be the first chain in The Netherlands to do so. With this step more than 50% of the ingredients that we use are organic. Most people are not aware of the fact that a cow needs to deliver a calf every year in order to produce milk. In (almost) all of these cases, the calves are separated directly at birth from their mothers, as the milk is considered for “human consumption”.
Kalverliefde, in Dutch: “calf-love” or "puppy-love", is an organic biodynamic dairy milk from farmers who don’t separate the calves directly at birth. For the first three months the calfs have the opportunity to grow socially, to run and play & feel safe and happy with the comfort of their mothers.
Every small step, contributes to a bigger impact: sustainably shaping tomorrow!
We firmly believe that progress is a game of inches. At Lebkov we aspire to find each inch and help to improve our world every day. Buying local products is a quick win to reduce our carbon footprint. Especially when you are able to minimize the amount of deliveries to one or two times a week instead of seven. Throughout our chain of service we have found ways to decrease waste with 75%. And we are improving every day. Bigger impact, smaller carbon footprint.
For example, coffee is a huge industry and a big chain where a lot of improvements can be made. Especially at the land of origin. Better prices for (organic) farmers and the people that pick our coffee berries by hand. That's why we work together with Moto Coffee. Our coffee is a product of direct trade. Lebkov found a friend in a farmer.
Furthermore, our Lebkov papercups are biodegradable and compostable - 100% plant-based material, 100% carbon (co2) neutral, 100% renewable. Our cups are made of bagasse, which is the dry pulpy residue left after the extraction of juice from sugarcane. The total emission per 1000 pieces is 5 times less (3.24 kg co2-eq v.s. 15.11 kg co2-eq) compared to regular paper cups. For those who are interested - this means an emission equivalence of 18.70 driven km compared to 87.18 driven km (average car).
We serve in paper cups, yet we prefer it if you bring your own!
Paper cups are an issue. But so is the production of ceramics. We believe firmly in re-using sources and recycling products. We haven't found the perfect solution yet. What works for us, is if you bring your own cup. You'll receive a discount on your beverage and no waste is produced. In the meanwhile we are searching the planet for the best options to re-use, reduce and recycle.
We only use recycled plastics (rPET)
Google 'plastic' and the results project pure evil. As a company we see we are part of the problem. And we want to be part of the solution. This requires a sober approach and a keen eye for promising developments. Wherever possible Lebkov avoids using plastic, and if we do, we stick to rPET (recycled plastic). In general, we have a strong focus on recycling, with our plastics, but also with our sandwich left-over tomato-butts, we don't throw these away, but we use them in our homemade tomato soup. Or take our carrot rasp, that we use from our juices, inside our homemade Lebkov carrot cake.
Let's make it a better place!