New Nespresso campaign highlights need to protect high-quality coffee from climate threat


In The Empty Cup, starring George Clooney, Nespresso spotlights the risk that climate change poses to farming communities as the brand steps up its long-term commitment to preserve the world’s finest coffees


Nespresso, the pioneer and reference-point of high-quality portioned coffee, marks International Coffee Day by highlighting the threat posed by climate change to global coffee production and shining a spotlight on efforts to protect it.

The new campaign, entitled The Empty Cup, features brand ambassador George Clooney holding an empty coffee cup as a symbol of the risk facing many coffee growers around the world, of which over 140’000 work directly with Nespresso. Currently, 60% of wild coffee species are endangered and 50% of the land used to grow coffee today could be unviable by 2050. Fine-grade Arabica is particularly vulnerable to weather shocks.

Securing and protecting the future of high-quality coffee has been central to Nespresso’s strategy for the last 20 years. Launched in 2003 in collaboration with Rainforest Alliance, the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program helps to improve the yield and quality of harvests while protecting the environment and improving the livelihoods of farmers and their communities.

Empowering farming communities to protect their land against weather shocks while simultaneously combatting the causes of climate change is critical to the future sustainability of high-grade coffee. Nespresso is doing this through regenerative agriculture: an approach that has the potential to not only reduce global agri-food emissions but to increase rural resilience against the impacts of climate change.

The Empty Cup campaign marks the first time that Nespresso’s long-term brand ambassador is pictured holding an empty cup in place of his trademark Nespresso coffee. 

George Clooney said: “The threat of climate change is real and coffee farmers are on the front line. It’s vital that we empower these communities to build financial and environmental resilience, so that they not only survive but thrive and prosper. This concept is at the heart of the Nespresso approach. But this is about more than coffee. Climate change is not something that a single company or even an entire industry can fix. It requires urgent, bold action on a global scale. The stakes are high.”

Guillaume Le Cunff, Nespresso CEO, said: “The exquisite taste, high quality, and specialty coffee blends that are important to coffee lovers are at risk. We must act to protect coffee and coffee communities against climate change. This has been the basis of Nespresso’s approach for 20 years, and now we’re going even further. Regenerative agriculture has the potential to make farming part of the solution to the climate crisis. It is an approach which doesn’t just take from the land, but actually heals nature and restores balance. I’m proud that Nespresso is pioneering this transition, but we need to do more. We’re calling on entities – both private and public – to take action that will make a tangible difference.”

Santiago Gowland, Rainforest Alliance CEO, said: “Almost a quarter of emissions come from agriculture, forestry and other land use. We urgently need swifter action to address climate change and changing the way we grow our food must play a big part. The good news is that transitioning to regenerative agriculture can reduce the impact of farming and sustain our global food system for future generations.”


A partnership with Time Magazine

The Empty Cup is George Clooney’s sixteenth campaign for Nespresso. Ahead of International Coffee Day on October 1, the brand ambassador urges readers to ‘think outside the cup’ when it comes to tackling climate change.

In a partnership with Time magazine, Nespresso aims to highlight the threat to high-quality coffee and demonstrate how farmers are fighting back. Time100 Next goes on sale September 30.