Hospitality & Tourism

Published: August 27, 2021 | Updated: September 25, 2021

Plant a tree pledge goes down a treat as café teams up with sustainable membership card

Ibrahim Asik, Owner, Esquires Coffee Bournemouth (right) with (left) Matt Cosier and Nick Cooper, Co-founders, Gaia card. Picture: Dorset Biz News.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

An artisan café which played a key role in the birth of the UK’s first sustainable membership card has launched its own drive to help the planet.

Esquires Coffee has teamed up with Gaia card and pledged that a tree will be planted for every summer sweetness drink sold.

Ibrahim Asik, Owner of Esquires Coffee Bournemouth, said: “We feel passionately about the environment and doing our bit for future generations.

“Gaia card perfectly matches the values we have as a business.

“This is our way of helping the planet.”

Esquires Coffee is one of 78 partners of Gaia card, co-founded by Nick Cooper and Matt Cosier and officially launched in March this year.

The partners – all hand-picked – range from coffee shops and restaurants to door-to-door delivery services and health and nutrition brands

Described as a new way to enjoy goods and services from eco-friendly independent and local businesses – and give back to the planet at the same time – Gaia now has 196 members.

Card holders receive a membership login for the Gaia website and a sustainable birch, bamboo or cherry membership card.

The site – gaiacard.co.uk – features the latest partner discounts and special offers.

Members tap the Gaia card onto their mobile device.

They search for an offer and, once selected, can save money but also earn loyalty points and rewards.

In return Gaia will plant five trees a month for each member through a gold standard charity.

The Gaia Forest is being created in partnership with Eden Reforestation.

To date 5,067 trees have been planted.

Gaia’s environmental commitment includes:

  • Plant 250,000 trees by 2023
  • Remove 1,000+ tonnes of C02 from the atmosphere through a partnership with Eden Reforestation Project
  • Keep local beaches clean with regular Gaia beach cleans
  • Invest £10,000, or more, into The Ocean Cleanup by 2023
  • Give back to wildlife trust and national reserves

Card membership costs £40 annually or £3.49 monthly for students and £4.49 per month for standard membership.

Ten per cent of all Gaia’s profits are donated to community projects.

In addition to Nick and Matt, the five-strong Gaia team comprises Stephen Miles, Director of Operations; Chris Bolton, Director of Sustainability, and Chillee Noir, Head of Design.

Nick said Gaia had attracted the interest of venture capitalists and was also becoming a partner with Bournemouth University’s Sustainability Challenge.

In May BU was named as the eighth best university in the UK for recycling and sustainability in the Times Higher Education impact rankings.

Nick said: “This gives us access to 18,000 students and also means we will be involved in things like the Freshers Fair.

“It’s potentially a big breakthrough for us.”

The summer promotion at Esquires Coffee involves three drinks – Tiramisu Frappe, Bakewell Cakeshake and Vegan Brownie Cakeshake.

The promotion runs until the middle of September.

Matt said much of the planning for Gaia card had been carried out at Esquires Coffee in Burlington Arcade.

He added: “Ibrahim bought into our vision from the very beginning and was our first partner.

“It’s great that he is running this summer promotion and creating his own forest through Gaia.”