Starbucks solidifies pathway to a planet positive future


Starbucks affirms commitment to resource positive future with new investments in eco-friendly operations, regenerative agricultural practices, and an environmentally friendly menu. 

Earlier this year, Starbucks shared its multi-decade commitment to become a resource positive company by storing more carbon than it emits, eliminating waste, and replenishing more freshwater than it uses.  

Today, at its 2020 Biennial Investor Day, Starbucks president and ceo Kevin Johnson reaffirmed Starbucks Planet Positive Future. Now the company has formalized its 2030 environmental goals to cut its carbon, water, and waste footprints by half.

  • CARBON: 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in Starbucks direct operations and value and supply chain. 
  • WATER: 50 percent of water withdrawal for global operations, packaging and agricultural supply chain will be conserved or replenished.
  • WASTE: 50 percent reduction in waste sent to landfill from stores and manufacturing, driven by a broader shift toward a circular economy. 

These global goals are rooted in science, grounded in Starbucks Mission and Values, and informed by comprehensive market research and trials. Since January, the company has expanded plant-based menu options, found better ways to manage waste with greener cups and lids, and joined arms with others across industry on its journey to be a more sustainable company. 

“Our Planet Positive initiatives have a central role in our long-term business strategy, and directly address what our customers are asking for,” said Kevin Johnson, Starbucks chief executive officer. “We are moving toward a more circular economy, and we are doing so in a very intentional, transparent, and accountable way.” 

The now confirmed 2030 goals will not only reduce the company’s environmental impact but also strengthen the entire supply chain from agriculture practices, to how stores are powered, and an environmentally friendly menu. 

Diversified Renewable Energy Portfolio 

Starbucks has sourced 100% renewable energy for its more than 9,000 U.S., Canada and EMEA company-operated stores since 2015. The company has rapidly expanded its roster of renewable energy projects in the United States, supporting the growth of green energy onto the grid close to the stores that use the energy.  

Solar panels on the new Starbucks store at 9900 Balboa Blvd. Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles, Calif.
Patrick T. Fallon

Today, Starbucks announced new investments around the country including the company’s first next generation on-site solar store in California.  

  • Starbucks announced its intent to offset 50% of its company operated roasting and beverage production site’s electricity consumption in the U.S by 2022 via Starbucks first supply chain Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) with a solar farm in Virginia.  
  • Starbucks is also investing approximately $97 million in up to 23 new community solar projects in New York State, which will supply solar energy to 24,000+ households, small businesses, nonprofits, churches, universities, and Starbucks Stores. 
  • Additionally, Starbucks is entering into a combined Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) and Virtual Storage Agreement (VSA) that once online in 2021, will provide renewable energy for more than 550 stores in California with solar energy and utility-scale batteries.
  • Locally in Southwestern Washington, Starbucks supported the development of a new wind project. The 38 turbine, 137 megawatt facility is providing renewable energy to approximately 140 Starbucks Stores and the company’s Kent Roasting Plant, along with numerous communities in Washington. 

As Starbucks embarks on the next chapter of its renewable energy strategy, the company will use its scale to drive innovation across the energy sector, applying a climate justice lens to new investments. 

Sustainable Coffee 

Over the past five years, Starbucks has donated nearly 50 million coffee trees that are resistant to coffee rust diseases to farmers as part of its 10-year, 100 million tree commitment. In addition, this past year Starbucks launched pilots in Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Rwanda, and Kenya to reduce water usage by up to 80% in coffee processing through investments in new mills.

Coffee beans
Michael Hanson Photography

Today, Starbucks announced further support to help ensure a sustainable, profitable future for coffee farmers globally by increasing its Global Farmer Fund to $100 million, which represents an additional $50 million investment in this program. Coffee growers can use these funds to renovate and strengthen their farms and farming practices to be even more productive and sustainable. 

Looking toward to the company’s resource-positive future, Starbucks will continue seeking advancements to reduce its carbon and water footprint in green coffee. 

Sustainably Sourced Dairy  

Just as with its coffee, Starbucks goal is for the products it sells to be produced under high quality and ethical standards. Recognizing this responsibility, Starbucks looks for opportunities to collaborate with suppliers to address changes at the industry level. 

Farm

Today, Starbucks made two announcements to help propel the dairy industry’s progress toward a more sustainable future. 

Starbucks announced intent to support the Dairy Net Zero Initiative, a partnership of the U.S. dairy community seeking to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions and improvements in water quality on farms. This collaborative effort is intended to provide farmers in Starbucks supply chain access to effective environmental and economically viable practices and technologies from feed production, to manure handling, cow care, and on-farm energy efficiency. 

“We share Starbucks commitment to creating a more sustainable planet for future generations and look forward to partnering with them to reach net zero carbon emissions for dairy,” said Mike Haddad, chairman, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. “This partnership reinforces the critical role dairy plays in sustainable diets, and Starbucks participation in the Net Zero Initiative will help enable, advance and scale new technologies on dairy farms of all sizes across the country.”

Starbucks is also joining the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance as a founding member, repurposing food waste in Starbucks supply chain into renewable energy via farm-based anaerobic digesters. The process produces low carbon fertilizer that host farms use to support regenerative agriculture practices, while Starbucks, in turn, helps contribute to a low carbon economy.   

Introducing Oatmilk in US 

Starbucks continues to introduce new plant-based drinks and food to menus globally.  Following a successful regional rollout across the United States, Starbucks will launch oatmilk in all stores in the U.S. this coming Spring 2021. Customer interest in plant-based foods continues to see rapid growth with reports that the $5 billion industry has grown 29% over the past two years according to The Good Food Institute*.  

Starbucks Oatmilk
Joshua Trujillo

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Starbucks announces coffee-specific environmental goals