Coffee, Culture and Community: A message from CEO John Butcher


As Earth Month comes to an end and the plants and trees come back to life in Minnesota, I find myself reflecting on the positive impact Caribou is making through sustainability. Our company was founded with a vision to eradicate impersonal service from the coffeehouse experience, and we’ve taken that idea and expanded on it to create day-making experiences that spark a chain reaction of good for our team, guest and community. This includes our planet. We are proud of the significant commitments we have made through our 30-year history, but we’re always looking to grow. This year we made an intentional effort to embed sustainability in our business model through a formal Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy.

Caribou’s true purpose, creating day-making experiences, goes beyond the beans. The conversations and connections that occur over a simple cup of coffee act as a catalyst for change and progress. Our annual ESG report illustrates how connecting over coffee sparks authentic inspiration, impact and change.

We are proud of the significant commitments we have made throughout our history and are excited for what’s to come. You will see the first year of our work detailed in this report, and we look forward to an annual update on our progress.

cover of environment, social, and governance report
Caribou Coffee’s Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) report serves as a summary of previous commitments and provides an update on strategy and overall management approach.
John butcher smiling while holding a handful of peaberries at La Minita farm in Costa Rica
John Butcher scopes out the coffee berries in Huehuetenango, Guatamala.

It takes a holistic approach across our company to ensure growth. We have a very talented and visionary group of leaders moving us forward in our sustainability journey—like our Director of Sourcing & Inventory Management, Christian O’Neill. And for the first time, we’re adding an ESG Engagement & Sustainability Manager to our team to provide strategic partnership across a portfolio of ESG areas in our sustainability pillars of coffee, culture, and community. 

Caribou Coffee has always been a trailblazer, from innovating exciting beverages to integrating sustainable practices that make a difference. It’s no surprise that we were the first coffeehouse in the U.S. to exclusively source Rainforest Alliance Certified™ beans. This passion for premium is also why Caribou became the first to offer 100% clean label beverages—real ingredients, real chocolate chips, no artificial sweeteners, and no artificial coloring. With an unwavering love of coffee at our core, we will continue our commitment to responsible sourcing, real ingredients, and the highest standards for taste and quality across our entire menu.

We focus on serving with respect, consideration, and love. With our purpose and core values guiding our actions, we will inspire career-making experiences for our team and partners in an equitable, inclusive, and diverse workplace.

We will do good for our global communities here, near and far, by integrating sustainable practices that limit our environmental footprint and have a positive impact on people and the planet. We’re excited to invite you to join us on our sustainability journey! We are committed to doing this work together—with our teams, guests, our communities and our partners.

John Butcher, President and CEO