2019 Report: Leading in Sustainability


This page shows data from our 2019 Report. For the most up-to-date goals and progress, see our 2021 Global Environmental & Social Impact Report.

Expanding on our history in sustainability and progress in building a more sustainable future for coffee, we announced in January of 2020 a multi-decade aspiration to be a resource-positive company, giving more than it takes from the planet. The announcement included science-based preliminary target reductions of carbon, water and waste by 2030. Informed by an environmental baseline report it outlined five strategies to move forward, such as shifting away from single-use to reusable packaging, and finding better ways to manage our waste. We’ll share new commitments in the spring of 2021 as we celebrate Starbucks 50th anniversary.

Coffee & Tea


99% ethically sourced coffee

Goal: 100% ethically sourced coffee
For the fifth year in a row in FY19, more than 99% of our coffee was verified as ethically sourced under C.A.F.E. Practices. Although we are constantly striving for 100%, the last 1% is where some of our most important work happens, bringing on new farmers and cooperatives to help ensure the long-term future of coffee. We continue to work as part of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge to make coffee the world’s first sustainable agricultural product and improve the lives of at least one million people in coffee communities around the world.

40 million trees distributed since 2015

Goal: Provide 100 million coffee trees to farmers by 2025
Starbucks has donated coffee trees over the past four years to farmers in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador. These climate-resilient trees replace ones that are declining in productivity due to age and disease, such as coffee leaf rust, and help improve the quality and yields of their harvests. As of June 2020, the next 10 million are being distributed, with close monitoring of potential complications related to COVID-19.

99% ethically sourced tea*

Goal: 100% ethically sourced tea
We continue to work toward our goal of 100% ethically sourced tea, making significant progress from 95% in FY18 to 99% in FY19 by sourcing tea from farms that have been certified through Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, or Fair Trade. *As purchased by Starbucks global tea sourcing team.

160,000+ farmers trained

Goal: Train 200,000 farmers by the end of 2020
Our Global Agronomy Center and Farmer Support Center at Hacienda Alsacia in Costa Rica and our eight other Farmer Support Centers around the world provide open-source training and other resources to coffee farmers. In FY19 alone, we trained nearly 88,000 farmers.

$46 million invested in farmer loans; $20 million in FY19 emergency relief funds

Goal: Invest $50 million in farmer loans by the end of 2020
As of June 2020, we have invested more than $49 million in the Starbucks Global Farmer Fund to support farmers. This comes in addition to relief funds, such as the $20 million we dispersed in FY19 to many of our smallholder farmers in Central America who experienced the effects of low global coffee prices.

66,000+ women impacted since 2018

Goal: Empower at least 250,000 women and families in coffee, tea and cocoa growing communities globally by 2025
Through 18 grants totaling more than $5 million since 2018, The Starbucks Foundation is supporting women and families in coffee- and tea-growing communities across Africa, Asia and Latin America in many ways, including leadership skills, income-generating activities and healthier homes.

Greener Cups & Packaging


12 major cities recycling Starbucks cups; trialing of new cup technologies

Goal: Double the recyclability of our cups from 2016-2022; develop 100% compostable and recyclable hot cups by 2022
In 2016, 24% of Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada accepted our hot cups for recycling; in 2019, this number increased to 25%. Work accelerated in 2019, as the NextGen Consortium, of which Starbucks is a co-founder, identified 12 winning cup technologies of the NextGen Cup Challenge. In-store market testing began in the spring of 2020 with a cup that is industrially compostable as well as recyclable in markets that accept hot cups. We continue to research and test cup liner solutions that will make our cup easier to recycle and compost, while also working with the Consortium to improve recycling and composting infrastructure. In Europe, Starbucks launched a £1 million Cup Fund supporting ambitious recycling projects in conjunction with the environmental charity Hubbub. 

Starbucks cups currently are accepted for recycling in Amsterdam; Boston; Chattanooga; Dallas; Denver; London; Louisville; New York; San Francisco; Seattle; Vancouver; Washington, DC; and many smaller cities.

10% post-consumer fiber

Goal: 20% recycled content in our hot cups by 2022
Starbucks hot cups currently contain 10% post-consumer fiber (PCF), and we are working to double the recycled content to 20% as well as reduce the environmental impacts of sourcing virgin wood paper fiber we source.

2.8% reusability rate in measured markets

Goal: Double the use of reusable cups from 2016-2022
In 2019 we implemented new ways to track reusable cup usage, and we tracked a 2.8% reusability rate in company-operated stores in the U.S., Canada, Japan, and EMEA. This meant that customers received a discount for bringing their own cup or used a ceramic mug offered in store, saving more than 105 million disposable cups. China is not yet included in this metric, with a tracking program now in development there. In Europe, Starbucks conducted the first ever airport reusable cup trial at London’s Gatwick Airport. 

We continue to conduct research and evolve our strategy to encourage customer adoption of reusables.

Continued rollout of strawless lids and sustainable material straws

Goal: Eliminate single-use plastic straws globally by the end of 2020
In 2019 Starbucks continued the expansion of lightweight strawless lids for cold beverages, as well as rollout of alternative material straws. By the end of calendar year 2020, we anticipate that all company-owned stores and the majority of licensees will have eliminated single-use plastic straws. However, regulatory and manufacturing challenges in light of COVID-19 threaten the ability to fully roll out a new sustainable material straw in the U.S. and Canada by the end of 2020, with a new anticipated goal date of spring 2021. Starbucks will continue to provide straws to customers who need or request them in our stores.

Greener Retail


741 stores globally that reflect the Greener Stores framework

Goal: Build and operate 10,000 greener stores globally by 2025
Starbucks has built more than 1,600 LEED®-certified stores around the world, and in early FY20, the Shanghai Roastery set a new benchmark in green retail as the first in mainland China’s food retail industry to be certified LEED Platinum. Now in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund and in collaboration with other nongovernmental organizations, we’re going beyond LEED, expanding the scope and breadth of our greener stores commitment with an open-source Greener Stores framework for design, construction and operation.

14,800 Greener Apron partners

Goal: Empower 10,000 partners to be sustainability champions
by the end of 2020

In FY19, we surpassed our goal and as of April 2020 have more than 26,000 Starbucks partners enrolled in the Greener Apron sustainability training program through Starbucks Global Academy.

72% of global operations powered by renewable energy

Goal: Invest in 100% renewable energy to power global operations globally by the end of 2020
Starbucks purchases enough renewable energy to power 100% of its company-operated stores in the U.S., Canada and the UK. Worldwide in FY19, 72% of Starbucks operations were powered by renewables. This is down from 77% in FY18, driven in part by a transition away from company-owned renewable energy-powered markets in EMEA, as well as an increase in stores in markets where Starbucks is still building a path toward renewable energy, such as China and Japan.

As we work to buy more renewable energy, we also continue to invest in solar and wind farms, with 2019 highlights being investments in a large wind farm in Illinois and solar farms in Texas.

More from the 2019 report

thumbnail for Starbucks Milano Duetto – an innovative ode to coffee, arts and culture

Starbucks Milano Duetto – an innovative ode to coffee, arts and culture