Royal Cup: Social Responsibility is Our Responsibility

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Over the past 123 years, Royal Cup has set the industry benchmark for generating sustainable social, economic and environmental outcomes. From prioritizing initiatives with the Rainforest Alliance to donating a minimum 5% of pre-tax profits to various charities, Royal Cup has truly made being a good corporate citizen a core organizational principle.  

Throughout my 16-year tenure at Royal Cup, I have witnessed first-hand the unwavering commitment the company (as well as employees personally) has demonstrated through investing time, talent and resources toward worthy causes and organizations. It has been an honor to witness the impact of Royal Cup’s efforts on local, national and global scales, and to be a part of its continued growth.

When I was approached to oversee Royal Cup’s social responsibility initiatives, I felt a deep sense of pride and anticipation for all that we could accomplish. We are committed to continuing Royal Cup’s legacy of service through social responsibility, economic stability and environmental stewardship.

Social Responsibility

At Royal Cup, we don’t wait for social issues to become fashionable or popular. Rather, our team is constantly researching and innovating ways in which we can be on the forefront of making a continuous societal impact. 

The following are just a few of the social responsibility initiatives we are currently undertaking:

  • Sponsoring local charities in markets across the United States, including an annual company-wide United Way campaign with high voluntary employee giving
  • Fighting child labor, forced labor and human trafficking issues through our Supplier Transparency Program
  • Partnering with minority and women-certified organizations to expand supplier diversification
  • Purchasing coffee from the Mujeres en Café associations in Colombia

Economic Stability

Every day, Royal Cup promotes strategies that are solely aimed at positively influencing the economic well-being of our employees, partners, customers and communities. Whether by donating funds or making our organizational environment a desirable place to work, we strive to make our impact as resounding as possible. Here are a couple of examples of how we are working to ensure economic stability: 

  • Donating a portion from every cup of our ROAR coffee and tea product line to Neverthirst, a non-profit organization that provides clean water solutions for underdeveloped countries
  • Quantifying the impact of Fair Trade purchases at Royal Cup’s coffee origins
  • Maintaining an active seat on the board of World Coffee Research
  • As a founding member, continuing to provide annual financial contributions to World Coffee Research

Environmental Stewardship

Royal Cup implements an environmental methodology that prioritizes understanding impact, ensuring stewardship and promoting education. For example, we have begun implementing a company-wide plan (our headquarters & operations campus as well as our sales & distribution facilities) that focuses on minimizing our impact on the environment as well as further increasing our sustainability efforts. This plan includes a variety of initiatives and developments, such as:

  • Installing LED lighting and motion sensors across the campus
  • Implementing a waste removal program for all Royal Cup facilities nationwide
  • Monitoring and limiting our carbon footprint by utilizing organizational data and cutting-edge technology
  • Replacing our fleet with energy efficient vehicles

Outside of our plan, we have a variety of programs that are significantly reducing our environmental impact, including:

  • Importing Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade coffees to promote sustainable conditions for farms and farmers
  • Increasing electronic data interchange transmissions
  • Investigating and implementing water conservation programs with Neverthirst
  • Fostering transparent relationships between our origin suppliers and our customers through joint origin travel

I am honored to lead such a passionate team who believes in the positive effects Royal Cup can create across our world. We will do our absolute best to continue the tradition of excellence and spirit of giving that has been charted for us by our predecessors. I can promise you that we will be developing and implementing additional sustainable programs to ensure Royal Cup will always be conscious of the social, economic and environmental impact we have on our employees, customers, partners and communities.


By Jim Smith, SVP of Sustainability