Our Environmental Promise: Give more than we take

At Starbucks, we promise to give more than we take from the planet. Our comprehensive approach is built on our commitment to build a more sustainable, equitable and resilient future for coffee, farmers, communities and our planet. Across our company, we are testing and scaling innovative solutions to support partners, farmers and communities in the face of global climate change. 

Our work to fulfill our promise includes driving key investments to help farmers adapt to climate change impacts and conserving or replenishing water. Our global footprint requires a global approach that leverages the expertise and experiences of our partners, farmers, customers and stakeholders. It’s why we continue our decades-long work with industry experts, leveraging their insights to create and propel scalable solutions across our global operations, like in our efforts to support the long-term health of the dairy industry. It’s why we are continuously working towards our bold promise to our planet in collaboration with suppliers, non-profit organizations, industry partners, government, farmers and customers. And it’s why we take the lead of our partners who carry forward our promise to the planet every day in our stores by helping to make every single Starbucks store more sustainable by addressing our climate, water and waste footprints.

To support ongoing collaboration across sectors, Starbucks is a founding member of Transform to Net Zero, established in FY20. The initiative works to accelerate the transition to a net zero global economy no later than 2050 by developing and delivering research, guidance and roadmaps to guide businesses in achieving net zero emissions.

These efforts showcase our decades-long commitment to find solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change and ensure a sustainable future of coffee for all.

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In this section:

2030 Goals

Our vision for the future is to become resource positive. From storing more carbon than we emit, to reducing and conserving more freshwater than we use and eliminating waste, we set targets to cut our climate, water and waste footprints in half by 2030, compared to a FY19 baseline.

We set ambitious goals because we’re committed to creating a more sustainable and resilient future for the planet and the communities we serve.

Our goals:

    Climate: 50% absolute reduction in scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse (GHG) emissions representing all of Starbucks direct operations and value chain.

    Water: 50% of water withdrawals will be conserved or replenished across Starbucks direct operations, stores, packaging and agricultural supply chain, prioritizing action in high-risk water basins while supporting watershed health, ecosystem resilience and water equity.

    Waste/Packaging: 50% reduction in waste sent to landfill from stores and direct operations; customer facing packaging to be 100% compostable, recyclable or reusable.

As part of our work to refine and update our 2030 goals in FY23, we added specific targets for packaging, including updating 100% of Starbucks customer packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable.

We are focused on identifying and testing innovative solutions that we can scale across our global operations and engaging with our value chain while improving our measurement systems.

Sustainable Future of Coffee 

A healthy supply of coffee requires a healthy planet, but climate change is making it increasingly difficult for farmers to grow high-quality coffee. To help ensure the sustainable future of coffee, we are focusing on reducing our carbon footprint and conserving water at “the first ten feet” – starting on coffee farms. We do this by equipping farmers with precision agronomy tools that help reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. We are also promoting and distributing climate- resistant coffee tree varietals, while protecting and restoring at-risk forests in key coffee landscapes. See Our Farmer Promise for more information about this work.

Cups & Packaging

Starbucks is on a mission to lead the charge in reducing single-use packaging, and we’re taking bold steps, leveraging our test-and-learn approach to redefine convenience for our customers. Our vision is clear: we aim to empower our customers to make environmentally conscious choices during every Starbucks visit around the world, whether they’re enjoying their coffee in the café, zooming through the drive- thru or using mobile order and pay.

Making it easier for customers to use reusable cups is one of the ways Starbucks plans to reduce single-use cup waste in our stores.

We’re working towards a future where every Starbucks customer can order and enjoy a beverage served in a reusable cup — either one they bring or one we provide. Starting in 2024, customers in all Starbucks stores across the U.S. and Canada will be able to use their personal reusable cup wherever they order, including in café, drive-thru or mobile order and pay.

Inspired and informed by partners around the world, Starbucks has also conducted returnable cups tests in more than 25 markets around the world with more planned in the year ahead. In FY23, Starbucks tested a 100 percent reusable and returnable cup model in 12 stores in California. This program provides customers with a store-issued returnable cup to enjoy their drink wherever they wish, then return the cup to a kiosk at participating Starbucks locations. The cup will be professionally washed and sanitized, ready to be used again.

In addition to testing and implementing models for reusable and returnable cups, we are making progress to improve the sustainability of our single-use cups.

In FY23, we launched a new hot cup in the U.S. that includes 30 percent post-consumer recycled fiber. Less paper is used to make the cup, and less plastic is used to line it. From recycling to reusables, our sustainability journey has been driven by bold aspirations and a comprehensive approach. We’ve set an ambitious goal for our customer facing packaging to be 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable; sourced from 50% recycled materials; and made using 50% less virgin fossil fuel derived sources by 2030.

Our ambitions, business and goals for reducing waste are global. To bring about sustainable change for our planet, we have joined the Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty. The Coalition, led by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, is supporting the development and negotiations of a United Nations Global Plastics Treaty to accelerate progress around the world.

Greener Stores

A Starbucks store is certified as a “Greener Store” when it meets robust standards, as verified by a third-party auditor, across eight environmental impact areas: water stewardship, partner engagement, energy efficiency, waste diversion, renewable energy, responsible materials and sites and communities. The standards were developed in partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and SCS Global Services. In FY23, we certified 6,091 Greener Stores. We are proud to announce significant international expansion of our Greener Store program in 2023, with the aim to have 10,000 Greener Stores across our global business in 2025.

The inaugural global Greener Stores of the Year is awarded across our six regions to celebrate stores exceeding in innovation and environmental impact. The 2023 regional winners will be announced in the Spring of 2024.

Our promise to support our planet goes beyond our own business.

That’s why we launched the Greener Store Practitioner course on the Starbucks Global Academy to make the Greener Stores program accessible to retailers and the general public around the world. The course features educational content on sustainability that is broadly applicable and shares the fundamental structure of Greener Stores. Starbucks will translate the course into multiple languages through 2024 and is committed to sharing insights through the Starbucks Global Academy platform as we continue to scale the program globally.

Renewable electricity projects at our Greener Stores represent just one way we are working to support the growth of green energy.

We work to spur development of new renewable electricity and energy storage facilities through direct investment and long-term contracts that ensure project financing. We also purchase renewable energy certificates from new and existing facilities. For example, in October 2023, Starbucks announced a partnership with NineDot Energy in New York City in support of the state’s goal to deploy 1,500 megawatts of battery storage by 2025. The projects will deliver cleaner air to the city’s communities by displacing generation from peaking power plants. In FY23, Starbucks also expanded its roster of onsite solar and hosted electric vehicle charging stations that provide familiar, reliable, clean and safe places to recharge for our customers and their battery-powered vehicles.