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Edinburgh Science launches Buy Local Act Global Coffee Trail to raise awareness of climate change impact on the coffee industry


Edinburgh Science, a charitable organization recognized for its environmental efforts and renowned for organizing the yearly Science Festival, introduces a novel initiative in the form of the Buy Local Act Global Coffee Trail in Edinburgh.

This trail marks the second of its kind to be presented by the Edinburgh Science team, following the triumph of the Toast to Gaia drinks trail, which garnered multiple accolades, including the Regional and National Working Together for Tourism Scottish Thistle Award from Visit Scotland.

Over 95 million cups of coffee are consumed daily in the UK with many bought from independent coffee shops. However, the coffee industry is experiencing increasing challenges caused by climate change, ranging from the production of coffee beans to supply chain disruptions caused by extreme weather events.

Through the Buy Local Act Global campaign, Edinburgh Science hopes to demonstrate the powerful impact that supporting everyday businesses can have, not just locally, but globally.  

Featuring 6 independent Edinburgh-based coffee shops and roasters, the Buy Local Act Global trail is the key component of an environmental campaign aiming to both shed light on the impact of climate change on the coffee industry and highlight the ways in which Edinburgh businesses – and especially small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) – are taking climate-conscious actions to build resilience.  

Edinburgh Science launches Buy Local Act Global Coffee Trail to raise awareness of climate change impact on the coffee industry
Edinburgh Science’s Buy Local Act Global campaign launch at Williams & Johnson café in Leith, Edinburgh
Credit: Chris Scott

The 6 independent Edinburgh-based coffee shops and roasters participating in the campaign are:

  • Williams & Johnson
  • The Milkman
  • Machina
  • Fortitude
  • Babyfaced Baker
  • Little Fitzroy

Coffee enthusiasts can pick up a card in any participating venue, the card links to the Buy Local Act Global website. The website details the actions that businesses are taking and the local and global impact of these as well as actions that they can take themselves.  

The campaign is associated with The NetZeroToolkit – a free online resource by Edinburgh Science that supports organisations of any size, but particularly micro businesses and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to build carbon management strategies. Many coffee shops on the trail have signed up to and are using The NetZeroToolkit and visitors to the trail are encouraged to share this resource with their own businesses or SMEs that they use to get more Edinburgh SMEs building effective carbon reduction strategies.  

“Small-to-medium size enterprises – or SMEs make up a massive 99% of the UK business community, their contribution is vital if we are to meet our ambitious – and necessary –net zero targets. The good news is that there are many SMEs, such as these, working incredibly hard on making climate conscious and sustainable decisions even in areas that are being badly affected by the impact of climate change such as the coffee industry. Any business, from any sector can – and should – sign up to The NetZeroToolkit today, for free. At Edinburgh Science we believe that if we work together now; we can build a better future for everyone.”  

Emily Stone, Climate and Sustainability Business Development Manager at Edinburgh Science

“The impact of climate change is being felt throughout the coffee industry – from the producers themselves, through the supply chain and right to our own shops in Edinburgh. Taking climate-conscious and sustainable actions has long been a priority for Machina and so we’re delighted to appear on this project, highlighting both our own actions and those of our colleagues across the city. As small businesses we all have a responsibility to act now so that we can build an Edinburgh coffee scene for the future.” 

Representative from the Machina coffee shop

“At Williams and Johnson, we’re proud to be a part of the Buy Local Act Global campaign. Our ethos isn’t just great coffee – it’s great coffee and contributing to a better future for our planet and people. It’s incredibly fulfilling to know that our efforts can make a difference and we’re excited to continue our work towards a more sustainable future as well as inspire others to join us in this crucial mission.” 

Representative from Williams and Johnson coffee shop

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