Jakob Lindstrup and his partners believe that genuine sustainability is the new way to think about production, consumption, recycling, jobs and – last but not least – profit. With this in mind they gave their final graduation project a focus on social economic responsibility – and it might become their doorway into a serious industry.

The project is named SvampeSyndikatet and comprises a modern manufacturing company that produces edible mushrooms: oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms and emperor hats. The key is that they are all grown on waste from coffee grounds.

The cycle of nature
Danish coffee drinkers annually produce more than 33,000 tons of coffee grounds. This is normally thought of as waste. But by using a combination of sediment and grate waste as a substrate in mushroom production SvampeSyndikatet sees these grounds as a positive resource. Once the mushrooms have been harvested the waste that they themselves produce can be further used as fertilizer and animal feed – and so the cycle of nature is continued.

By using waste that was destined for the bin, Jakob and his partners have given value to something that was otherwise useless. They have turned coffee waste into healthy and nutritious mushrooms that they can sell.