Top 10 Things to Know about the Starbucks Shanghai Greener Store


The Shanghai Greener Store located in Qiantan Taikooli is the first Starbucks store certified under the Greener Stores Framework to open outside North America. Starbucks has more than 2,300 Greener Stores in the U.S. and Canada and will begin using the framework outside of North America to achieve its goal of building and retrofitting 10,000 Greener Stores globally by 2025. The Shanghai Greener Store has been designed and built to reduce waste, repurpose goods and serve as a platform for future innovation. Here are 10 ways this store uniquely celebrates Starbucks Planet Positive commitments.

Customer Experience

1. Explore the lifecycle of a coffee bean

Upon entering the store, customers will experience and participate in the ‘from bean to cup’ story behind a cup of coffee. An inspiring micro-film brings them on a journey to the coffee origin introducing Starbucks ethical sourcing approach known as Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E) Practices. At the same time, they can enjoy Starbucks Reserve coffees brewed artfully by coffee masters selected from across the market, who will showcase their exquisite craftsmanship while relating the fascinating story behind each coffee.

2. Enjoy an expanded plant-based menu

At the Shanghai Greener Store, over half the menu is plant-based. Unlike other Starbucks stores, oatmilk is used as the default option for most beverages. Starbucks has also introduced two new plant-based beverages, available for a limited time only – Salted Caramel Breve and Salted Caramel Flat White. The store offers a scrumptious variety of plant-based food offerings, including the debut of 15 new food items. A range of plant-based bakery, wraps, sandwiches, salads, cakes and pastries are available to satisfy customers’ craving at any time of the day.

3. Re-use your Starbucks cup time and time again

To encourage customers to do their part for the planet, the store offers a new Grande-sized reusable cup. Customers can purchase it for just 15 RMB when ordering beverages for on-the-go consumption. Made with Polypropylene (PP), the reusable cup design is inspired by the traditional Starbucks Siren logo. Customers can also bring their own cups for 4 RMB discount.

4. Visit the “Circular Lifestyle Lab”

A “Circular Lifestyle Lab” within the store provides a platform to spotlight sustainability-themed artwork. Kicking off the initiative is a collaboration with Tongji University’s College of Design and Innovation on an exhibition titled “Organic Prosperity,” featuring art installations created through the imaginative use of coffee grounds and other retail waste materials. The store will also host talks and workshops to inspire the public on the future possibilities of sustainable development.

Design and Construction

5. Building with an eye for the future

The store uses a bar made up of modules designed for different functions such as ordering, beverage production, food display, and more. This modular design allows the store to quickly adjust the bar layout, by adding, removing or replacing bar modules to achieve different functional combinations, should it undergo renovation or remodeling in the future. It is expected that many aspects of the store interior can be recycled, upcycled or biodegraded.

6. Reusing materials from other Starbucks stores

At the Shanghai Greener Store, customers will find traces of other Starbucks stores from across China. The store uses reclaimed wood from the renovations of other Starbucks stores. This includes the countertop of the Experience Bar, steps of the ‘stadium seating’, as well as door handles, which were made from wood recovered the Starbucks Beijing Sanlitun Taikooli Flagship store.

7. Saving energy behind the scenes

The store uses smart, energy efficient solutions for air conditioning, lighting, water usage and daily energy consumption. For example, the lighting system is entirely automated, and features multiple modes such as daytime, dusk, late night and more with customized settings.

Daily Store Operations

8. Going paperless

Sustainability has been considered across every aspect of daily operations. Paper receipts have been eliminated with the introduction of e-receipts, and customers can check on the details of their orders on the Starbucks China App. LED menu boards have also replaced paper menus. These measures reduce single-use materials and minimize waste from the very beginning.

9. Refreshing the Iconic Green Apron

There is a special origin behind the aprons at this store – they are made from recycled Starbucks cups. Advanced plastic-to-textile technologies are used to transform Starbucks PET cups into the iconic Starbucks green apron donned by store partners. The cups undergo deep cleaning and processing to become recycled PET fragments, which are then made into polyester chips, yarns, and fabrics, before becoming a Starbucks apron. This recycling initiative not only helps to minimize white pollution caused by PET beverage bottles, but also reduces energy and resource consumption compared to the traditional textile industry. Each apron achieves approximately one kilogram of carbon reduction in its lifecycle.

10. Finding new uses for coffee grounds  

In a first for Starbucks in the Chinese mainland, coffee grounds from the store will be recycled. A portion of the coffee grounds will be used as fertilizer in the garden outside the store and in farms located in the suburbs, while the rest will be packaged as free gifts for customers.

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Starbucks takes action to reduce waste in Japan