Starbucks reached a milestone with the opening of the company’s 1,000th LEED-certified store today (October 4).
In 2008, Starbucks made a commitment to build company-owned stores to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards – a rating system that evaluates a building’s environmental performance and encourages sustainable design.
Starbucks has LEED-certified stores in 20 countries and was the first retailer with buildings certified in France, Germany, Spain, Thailand and the Philippines. Starbucks stores currently make up 20 percent of LEED-certified retail projects globally and the company's most recent certifications demonstrate an ongoing commitment to sustainable design around the world.
“Sustainability is a key element of our approach to design at Starbucks. Our teams have worked hard to design, construct and operate our stores to meet LEED requirements on a global scale, as we continue to push the envelope of what our stores can be in the future,” said Tony Gale, Starbucks corporate architect. “We hope our success will encourage and influence other retailers to do the same and collectively will make a long-lasting impact on the future of sustainable design.”
Starbucks Latest LEED-Certified Stores
A store in the Midwest (at Lincoln Way and Lynn Avenue in Ames, Iowa, pictured above) receives the designation as Starbucks 1000th LEED-certified store. In the store, water use was reduced by more than 50 percent due to low flow sinks and other equipment. Energy use decreased by 30 percent with the installation of LED lighting.
“This store’s location was ideal because it is in close proximity to several bus routes and within walking distance to many neighborhood services,” said Suzanne Sullivan, project manager, Starbucks LEED Execution team. “The community has embraced the store and we’re finding that customers are curious about green building practices and how more local businesses can incorporate these principles.”
While LEED certification in the U.S. is gaining traction, the program is still in its infancy in some international markets. Despite this, Starbucks continues to integrate green design into international stores, including two flagship LEED-certified stores in China to help that market identify efficiencies and most recently a LEED Platinum (the highest certification level) store in Thailand. The store is located in the lobby of SCG Green Building Solution, a consultancy that specializes in offering advice on products and materials for green buildings.
“Developing a store inside a LEED Platinum building provided a great advantage for us,” said Adrienne Salzwedel, Starbucks project manager for LEED construction. “We were able to leverage many of the green design elements already in place and set our sights on doing even more in the way of sustainable practices.”
Earlier this year, Starbucks achieved its first LEED certification for a store in India, which stands apart as one of only a handful of these stores developed with a licensed-store partner.
“The idea of integrating LEED into smaller retail locations is fairly new in India,” said Salzwedel. “This provided an opportunity for Starbucks to share the advantages of the program and serve as a positive example of how it can be the standard way of doing business both fiscally and from an environmental standpoint.”
The store is located in the domestic departures terminal two of the bustling Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. Water-efficient plumbing fixtures, energy-efficient appliances and LED lighting reduce the demand on the water and energy supply and help reduce costs.
“India is the 20th country with LEED-certified Starbucks stores,” Salzwedel added. “This milestone not only represents a commitment to conserving resources and green retail, but also a strong partnership between Starbucks and Tata.”
Collaboration with U.S. Green Building Council
Starbucks joined the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2001 and teamed with them to develop the LEED for Retail program, an effort to adapt green principles to new construction and commercial interior strategies for retail businesses. Through its relationship with USGBC, Starbucks has been able to integrate green building design into new stores as well the company’s existing store portfolio.
On October 5, the USGBC will hold its annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Los Angeles – the industry’s largest group of representatives from all sectors of the green building movement. During the conference, Tony Gale will accept an USGBC Leadership Award for his collaboration and dedication to expanding the company’s sustainability model. Gale is one of only nine recipients to receive this honor.
Global Commitment to Sustainability
In addition to a focus on LEED certification for company-owned stores, Starbucks has also expanded its commitment to sourcing 100% of its energy from renewable sources across its stores in Europe. This comes one year after signing the RE100 agreement, a global initiative designed to engage influential companies to use 100% renewable power.
Starbucks is now working with a variety of energy suppliers across Europe and has identified providers that are able to offer renewable energy tariffs in the UK, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The energy used to light, heat, cool and power equipment in stores is matched against these renewable contracts and helps reduce the environmental footprint, while supporting the European renewable energy landscape.