Starbucks plans to save US$50m with 'greener stores' initiative

Starbuck has unveiled plans to build 10,000 "greener stores" globally by 2025, a move with the potential to save the brand an incremental US$50 million in utilities over the next 10 years. The move comes as Starbucks aims to deepens its sustainability commitment.

Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of Starbucks, added in a statement that leading a large company is "not just about profit", but also about doing what’s right, and continuing to look for new ways to build on that.

"One of our social impact pillars is sustainability. We are a company in that believes, in the fabric of mission and values, that the pursuit of profit is not in conflict with the pursuit of doing good," Johnson added.

The "greener stores” framework will be co-developed by experts including World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and will be audited and verified by SCS Global Services, a third-party verification organisation that also oversees Starbucks Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices. In addition, the framework will also be open-sourced to enable other retailers to engage in this initiative.

In addition to its green initiatives, Starbucks has also opened more than 1,500 LEED-certified stores globally across 20 countries including China, Thailand, all 50 states in the US and Puerto Rico. LEED-certified stores utilise recycled coffee grounds in table tops, low emitting materials and over 45% lighting power savings through the use of efficient LED fixtures.

“This framework represents the next step in how Starbucks is approaching environmental stewardship, looking holistically at stores and their role in helping to ensure the future health of our natural resources,” Erin Simon, director of R&D at World Wildlife Fund, US, said.

She also added that when companies step up and demonstrate leadership, other businesses "often follow with commitments of their own", driving further positive impacts.

Starbucks has been treading the path to "go green" when in July, it planned to eliminate plastic straws globally by 2020. As an alternative, the coffee and beverage giant revealed plans to introduce strawless lids and alternative-material straw options including paper or compostable plastic to replace single-use plastic straws in its 28,000 stores around the world.

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