The brand has teamed up with sustainable building experts SCS Global Services and World Wildlife Fund to help with the implementation of the new initiative, which focuses on reducing waste, saving water and powering stores through 100 per cent renewable energy.
The announcement was made overnight at The Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, and promises to deliver consumers a new standard in green retailing.
The latest initiative will see the brand audit all existing company-operated stores in the US and Canada over the coming years, serving as a trial period for the proposed framework, before encompassing all remaining existing stores, new builds and renovations.
“Simply put, sustainable coffee, served sustainably is our aspiration,” said Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of Starbucks.
“We know that designing and building green stores is not only responsible, it is cost effective as well. The energy and passion of our green apron partners has inspired us to find ways to operate a greener store that will generate even greater cost savings while reducing impact.”
The move is anticipated to save the company an incremental US$50 million in utilities over the next 10 years, building on the brand’s current decade long commitment to greener practices, which already equates to approximately $30 million in saved annual operating costs.
Erin Simon, director of R&D at World Wildlife Fund, US praised Starbucks’ decision to open source the framework, enabling other retailers to engage in the initiative.
“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,” Simon said.
“When companies step up and demonstrate leadership, other businesses often follow with commitments of their own, driving further positive impacts.”
As a leader in the retail coffee space, the announcement is set to highlight the importance of sustainability in Australian outlets and competitors, many of whom recently established partnerships and green operations to curb growing consumer demand.
Starbucks is also encouraging other businesses to get on board with the latest sustainable initiative.
Inside Retail Asia