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Green agenda puts mobile coffee franchise in fast lane to success

Green agenda puts mobile coffee franchise in fast lane to success

Cafe2U has launched the world’s first all-electric coffee van

Since establishing itself as the UK’s largest mobile coffee franchise, premium brand Cafe2U has had an ambitious business plan - to become the UK’s first carbon-neutral coffee company.

Now, after launching the world’s first emission-free, all-electric coffee van, it’s one step closer to making that plan a reality.

Protecting the environment

Cafe2U is the fifth-largest coffee brand in the UK, with a fleet of almost 100 vehicles.

Historically, the vans have been petrol-powered. But determined to take a proactive approach to protecting the environment wherever possible, Cafe2U announced plans to change its entire fleet to electric vehicles earlier this year, with the first van hitting the roads in August.

By changing its fleet to electric power, Cafe2U estimates it will save approximately 12,672g of CO2 per annum.

In addition to boasting zero emissions, the new vehicles also feature fewer moving parts and more effective brakes, meaning fewer replacement parts need manufacturing, reducing greenhouse gas emissions further still.

Sustainable practices

A focus on sustainable practices and minimising its environmental impact has always been at the heart of the Cafe2U business plan.

Before the pandemic, the company was investing significant amounts of money, time and energy to reduce its carbon footprint by minimising its paper usage, with the company’s head office currently in the process of digitising all its files ahead of a 2022 deadline to be completely paper-free.

In order to enhance its green credentials further still, the company also switched from print to digital advertising, launched a new app to replace its loyalty card system, introduced compostable paper cup and waste coffee grounds recycling schemes, replaced its plastic straws with paper alternatives and swapped its disposable paper cups for fully compostable alternatives.

It also replaced the diesel generators in all its vans with emission-free lithium-ion batteries in 2019, a move that immediately reduced the company’s emissions from in-van generators to zero.

Pro-sustainability message

Martyn Ward, Cafe2U chief executive, says: “Reducing our carbon footprint is absolutely vital to us, our franchisees and our customers, so we’re always on the lookout for new ways to become even more sustainable and we cannot wait to have a whole fleet of electric vehicles in operation.

“As well as being better for the environment, electric vehicles will enable our franchisees to access emission-free zones, amplifying our pro-sustainability message even further.

“With the need to protect the environment from the effects of climate change more pressing than ever, our decision to continue pursuing a green agenda despite the financial risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic may have seemed risky to some, but it was a decision we felt was imperative to make.

“Although COVID-19 did affect our plans, we’re determined to ensure our petrol vehicles are off the fleet in the next couple of years - and significantly ahead of the government’s ban on petrol and diesel vehicles, which doesn’t come into effect until 2030 - so we believe our decision has been well and truly justified.”

At a glance



Number of franchised outlets:


Location of units:

UK and Northern Ireland

Investment range:

as low as £15,000 (subject to status)

Minimum required capital:



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