Nespresso, the luxury capsule coffee company, supports sustainability and has created a concept called The Positive Cup. The vision is “to create a cup of coffee that has a positive impact on the world,” as Mark Leenders, Head of Business Development, told Liviani Putri.
A Dutch citizen, Leenders begin his career in 1993 at Nespresso Netherlands. In 1999, he became Market Director of Nespresso Benelux. He moved to the company’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2003. Leenders became Business Development Director in 2008 and relocated to Singapore in 2011 to build the brand in Asian markets as Regional Market Director. He moved back to Lausanne in 2014.
Leenders flew to Jakarta recently for the grand opening of the new Nespresso boutique at Plaza Indonesia. Highlights of an exclusive interview:
How does it feel to have launched Nespresso’s first Indonesia boutique?
I feel very thrilled. Actually, a lot of Indonesian customers had been asking us to open a boutique in Jakarta to make it easier to maintain their machines, buy coffee capsules and related accessories. It took 15 months of work until today, the opening day. We began with research on the market and coffee culture in Indonesia. Thanks to the support of Kanmo Retail Group, we have gained much knowledge about the retail scene here and the many beautiful malls in Jakarta.
Since the boutique is in Jakarta, how do you reach customers in other parts of the archipelago?
Because we are a multi-channel brand, the boutique is only part of the business. We reach out to more customers in Indonesia through our website. Customers place orders online and have their purchases delivered to their home or office. And then there is our Customer Relationship Center (CRC). This platform is for information about the brand, for advice like which coffees you might like to drink. If there are problems with the maintenance of your coffee machine, for example, this will be all taken care of by the CRC.
Any new breakthroughs for Nespresso this year?
Actually, it begin at the end of last year, when we introduced a new range of coffees called Master Origin, which enables the customer to discover outstanding examples of coffee craftsmanship from Mexico, Colombia, India, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, and Indonesia. The Indonesian Master Origin is an Arabica type coffee that was born from the wet and humid environment in Sumatra. The result is a velvety thick, wildly aromatic coffee with notes of cured tobacco.
What makes Master Origin special?
It’s because we look at how the local farmers produce AAA Sustainable Quality. We train the farmers on how to produce high quality coffee with the most eco-friendly way using natural fertiliser and stop pesticide usage because it’s bad for the environment. Since most of the farmers own land less than two football fields in size, we buy their coffee beans at a higher price than the market normally asks for. So far, we have trained 75.000 farmers, helping them to create a better future for their children and to give back to nature.
What else do you do about sustainability and educating customers?
Nespresso has always told the customer that we will take care of the capsules, which are made of recyclable aluminium. They should not go into the bin. We provide customers with recycling bags for their used capsules. What happens next? Well, they go through our Second Life programme, which we established in 2003. More than 75 percent of the capsules are used to make stationeries (we collaborate with several Swiss brands, such as Carand d’Ache and Victorinox), window frames, and even for bicycle and car production. The coffee grounds are used by florists and by Nespresso coffee farmers as organic fertilisers. That’s why we call it The Positive Cup, because we believe a cup of coffee must add value for a better world