The first Starbucks store opened in 1971 with two goals in mind: to share great coffee and to try to make the world a little better. Since then, Starbucks Company has been committed to give high quality coffee and great service to its customers worldwide. Part of its mission statement is to always provide the highest quality coffee from the finest coffee beans and improving the lives of people who grow them. On top of that, environmental stewardship is an driving force of their success globally.
The video above talks about Green Building as part of their steps toward environmental stewardship. Starbucks has been striving to build energy efficient and environmentally friendly stores since 2001 while working closely with the U.S Green Building Council in developing all kinds of certification systems. The goal is to build all new company-owned stores with LEED certification standards. In addition to greening its stores, Starbucks has also committed itself to waste reduction, energy and water conservation, and reducing climate change.
In order to reduce its waste significantly, Starbucks not only recycles but also works on greener reusable cups and composting. Commercial recycling is not as easy as residential and there are a lot of obstacles into implementing it in all Starbucks stores but they are trying to find ways to make it easier and more efficient. Throughout the years, Starbucks has developed several initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of their disposable cups. Two ways they are doing this is by providing recyclable cups and also incentives for customer’s use of reusable cups.
Starbucks is also concerned about water conservation and strives to reduce its water consumption and waste with the use of better technology such as low flow faucets, and infiltration techniques. In some places, Starbucks implemented drought-resistant native species in the landscaping in order to eliminate the need for irrigation.
But the biggest problem of Starbucks is its energy usage and it is a still a challenge. With its huge dependency on electricity, Starbucks’ energy policy has been to switch to more efficient light bulbs, to reduce energy usage from heating and cooling equipment, and buying renewable energy credits from wind farms. The goal is to cover 100% of energy consumption with renewable energy by 2015.
Last but not least, Starbucks is striving to help local community of coffee grower by providing loans, expertise, and buying fair trade coffee. Starbucks partners with Conservation International to ensure proper buying guidelines to address what they call “ethical sourcing coffee.” Basically, the phrase means acquiring coffee through responsible purchasing practices- coffee price, proper working conditions, farmers loans- fostering good relationships with farmers, and conservation programs.
A more detailed information of how Starbucks is putting effort into protecting the environment is available at their website.