Starbucks expands commitment to water and outlines comprehensive strategy

By 2030, 50% of water withdrawal will be conserved or replenished across our direct operations, stores, packaging and agricultural supply chain from FY19, prioritizing action in high-risk water basins while supporting watershed health, ecosystem resilience and water equity.

In January 2020, Starbucks set an ambitious goal to conserve or replenish 50% of water used in green coffee production in our direct operations, as part of the company’s multi-decade commitment to become a resource positive company. In August 2021, Starbucks expanded this goal to include global operations, agricultural supply chain, and packaging, increasing the projected water conserved or replenished and addressing some of the biggest impacts on Starbucks water footprint. In addition, Starbucks will also prioritize action in high-risk basins to support watershed health and actively address ecosystem resilience and water equity. This approach aims to achieve sustainable water security for our business and works to reliably provide clean, safe water to high-risk communities. 

Our approach to meet this updated target will include efforts to:

  1. Expand water conservation and replenishment to include our Agricultural Supply Chains, Global Operations, and Packaging
    Starbucks will accomplish this through water efficiency and replenishment efforts throughout our agricultural supply chain, including the Dairy Net Zero Initiative, continued innovation in plant-based alternatives, and ongoing work to increase reusable packaging options, reducing the water needed to create single-use packaging.
    This work builds on initiatives like our Greener Stores framework, equipment innovations, our commitment to Carbon Neutral Green Coffee  and other efforts through C.A.F.E. practices  to support water conservation and replenishment efforts in high-risk basins. Across our agricultural supply chain, Starbucks will also create and join existing initiatives which seek co-benefits for water and climate through reforestation efforts, agroforestry, regenerative farming principles and broader ecosystem restoration efforts.
  2. Catalyze holistic watershed health improvements in highest risk basins
    Starbucks will invest in efforts to improve watershed health in high-risk basins, such as water availability, quality, access and climate impact projects. Water challenges differ across communities, and Starbucks is committed to addressing improvements through inclusive engagement with communities and stakeholders using hyper local approaches. Together, with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and by leveraging their Risk Assessment tool, we have prioritized the highest risk basins where immediate action is needed to build climate resilience and support long-term water security. Starbucks will begin with projects in the highest risk basins, based on the water issues and risks faced by communities and landscapes in areas where Starbucks sources and operates. Initially, this will include: Magdalena (Colombia), the Basin of the Piracicaba, Capivari and Jundiaí rivers (Brazil), Yangtze (China), Mexico City (Mexico), San Joaquin (US), Rio Bravo (US and Mexico), and Mississippi (US).
  3. Promote equity and resiliency for communities through WASH
    Starbucks seeks to empower 5 million people through community-driven solutions with a focus on women, girls and marginalized groups through water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Access to clean and safe drinking water is a global human right; yet, today, more than 700 million people around the world do not have reliable access to water, impacting women, indigenous communities, communities of color and other marginalized communities disproportionately. Through partnerships with leading global NGO partners and licensee partners, we will promote access and community resiliency to water stress by improving water quality, governance and replenishment in areas of highest risk.

    This work builds on Starbucks long history for supporting water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) initiatives in communities around the world through The Starbucks Foundation.

    We will ground our work in data, including robust WASH assessments in key geographies, benefit assessment using the World Resources Institute’s Volumetric Water Benefit Accounting tool and other best practice metric frameworks.

  4. Collaborate for sustainable change
    Starbucks will continue to work in close collaboration with peer companies, local non-governmental organizations, community members, local leaders and government institutions to collaborate for sustainable change, including endorsing the UN CEO Water Mandate and joining the Water Resilience Coalition as a Leadership Council member. Through these collaborative efforts, Starbucks is committed to supporting water smart policies on the global and national scale.