Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Starbucks - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Guest Post by Amila Barakovic

Starbucks Corporation (Seattle WA) is the leading roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in North America and has become a truly global brand. At Starbucks, the company is committed to environmentally, socially and economically responsible leadership in all aspects of the business. The company’s commitment to being a deeply responsible company that contributes positively to communities and the environment is one of the six guiding principles of the company’s mission statement.

The company’s vision is to serve high-quality ethically traded coffee and to promote responsible growing practices for a better future of farmers and a more stable climate. The company’s goal is to provide 100% ethically grown and traded coffee by 2015. Many years ago, Starbucks started working with Conservation International to encourage farmers to use sustainable farming practices. Starbucks also created “Shared Planet,” an online social network to advance the company's commitment to do business in ways that are good for the earth and good for each other.

Starbucks is focused on shrinking its environmental footprint through energy and water conservation, recycling and green construction. Seventy percent of its stores recycle, stores give away used coffee grounds for composting, stores are committed to using 25% less energy, water and other resources, and the company plans to double its green energy purchases. The company has switched to paper cups and has saved approximately 200,000 trees. One of the company’s goals is to develop cups that create no waste after they are used.

The Starbucks Foundation supports literacy, education and youth leadership in communities with stores and makes social investments in countries where the company purchases coffee, tea, and cocoa. Through the Foundation, the company sells Ethos Water to support the Ethos Water Fund which provides water, sanitation and hygiene education programs in emerging economies.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week is a weekly behind-the-scenes look at what businesses are doing to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

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