Coffee giant Starbucks has unveiled a new plan that will lead to 10,000 environmentally friendly stores across the world by 2025.
The coffee retailer made the announcement on September 13th at The Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, revealing that a goal of the company is to generate enough energy by solar and wind power to offset all the electricity needed to run the chain’s stores in both the U.S. and Canada.
Starbucks will be working with environmental verification firm SCS Global Services, the World Wildlife Fund as well as other experts to help it to build and operate environmentally sustainable stores.
There will also be an accredited auditing program developed so that all 15,000 company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada can be audited. The framework being developed will also be open-sourced so other retailers can use it.
“Simply put, sustainable coffee, served sustainably is our aspiration,” said Starbucks CEO and president Kevin Johnson.
“We know that designing and building green stores is not only responsible, it is cost effective as well.”
“Woven into the fabric of Starbucks is the view that the pursuit of profits is not in conflict with the pursuit of doing good,” Johnson said in a call with CNBC.
“We have been on a sustainability journey for many years, it starts with the way we grow our coffee to the work we do with LEED-certified stores, to the work we do around greener cups and plastic straws. Today’s announcement extends that to go beyond a LEED-certified store and will focus on operating those stores in a more sustainable way.”
The company expects to save $50 million in utility costs over the next 10 years as the plan evolves and says it already saves $30 million in annual operating costs with green store practices.
“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, the director of research and development at World Wildlife Fund in the U.S., stated.
“When companies step up and demonstrate leadership, other businesses often follow with commitments of their own, driving further positive impacts.”
Starbucks has also recently said that it would be eliminating plastic straws from all of its stores in the world by the year 2020.
An estimated 7.5 percent of plastic in the environment comes from straws and stirrers, according to a group of pollution research nonprofits called Better Alternatives Now. The World Economic Forum projects that by the year 2050, plastic in the oceans will outweigh the fish.