Starbucks Reaffirms Eco-Friendly Mission

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Starbucks has been consistent with its annual sustainability reports, this time, they went far and beyond with a decade long plan. 

In celebration of its 50th anniversary (in 2021) the coffee peddler wants to continue in its efforts to decrease its environment. Starbucks just announced its goal to reduce harmful elements it causes to the environment.

The company is expecting a lesser green-house gas emission and waste it releases in landfills by 2030. Aside from that, Starbucks has also committed to conserve and restore the water it uses for operations and coffee production to 50% by the year 2030.

Starbucks worked with C.A.F.E and Conservation International for the last two decades to source 99% of its coffee through ethically responsible growers. Starbucks notes that through this commitment the coffee company has cut its previous carbon footprint in half when compared to what emissions were. 

Chief executive officer Kevin Johnson stated, “By embracing a longer-term economic, equitable and planetary value for our company, we will create greater value for all stakeholders.”

Starbucks and its sustainability records

Starbucks has been upfront with its sustainability goals but its been facing some difficulties every since they began imposing the said goals for its company. Starbucks imposed a deadline for itself to decrease its use of single-use cups in serving its coffees and other drinks.

In 2008, the company announced that 25% of drinks would be served in reusable cups by 2015. This goal has been dropped to 5% after a few years. 

Despite efforts, 5% dropped further to 1.3%. According to reports, Starbucks only serves 1.3% of its drinks via reusable. These stats only prove that the company is still looking for ways on how to address its packaging problems. Aside from failing in that regard, Starbucks also failed to buy renewable energy from companies based in the U.S. and Canda. Not deterred by failures, Starbucks keep on their fight for sustainability. 

Starbucks addresses the challenge 

One of the company’s shareholder groups, As You Sow, proposed that customers pay for a single-use cup every time they purchase from any Starbucks location. The coffee shop has locations in more than 70 countries, and this could make a global impact. The group also encouraged the company to include in its packaging reuse and recycle movement.

Starbucks tested this commitment in the U.K in 2018 and found out that imposing a 5 cent fee on disposable cups has increased the use of reusable containers in hot coffee from 2.2% to 5.8%. The result pushed the company to conduct more research on how to engage their customers in using reusable cups.

From a marketing standpoint, the fact that a company as big as Starbucks taking incremental steps to improve their environmental impact reflects really well on a company that sends paper and plastics out with most customer purchases. Starbucks’ commitment despite setbacks sets a great example for other fast dining chains. Additionally, this creates goodwill with customers, many of whom are environmentally conscious.  

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