Although dented, the Paris Agreement is not broken. Companies and many other institutions remain committed to climate action. Starbucks shares with SustainAbility thoughts on why it is standing by the Paris Agreement and how climate leadership is good for business.
Starbucks has always believed that when it comes to our obligation to environmental sustainability, actions matter more than words. We cannot be bystanders while governments wait or avoid taking leadership roles in combatting the effects of climate change. That’s why we are a signatory to We Are Still In, as well as an active participant in coalitions such as BICEP and RE100. All these efforts build on Starbucks commitment to a sustainable future.
For decades Starbucks has invested in sustainable coffee production through open-source agronomy, farmer loans, climate-smart agriculture and a nearly 20-year partnership with Conservation International that has resulted in an industry-leading 99% ethically sourced coffee. That is why during the 2015 Paris Accords, together with CI we launched the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, a coalition with the ambition of making coffee the world’s first sustainable agricultural product.
We cannot be bystanders while governments wait or avoid taking leadership roles in combatting the effects of climate change.
Since 2004, Starbucks has been implementing a climate change strategy that focuses on renewable energy, energy conservation, and climate adaptation and mitigation efforts. We will continue to be the world’s leading builder of green stores, with more than 1,200 LEED-certified stores in 20 countries, as well as the largest U.S. purchaser of renewable energy in our sector.
We are committed to using our scale for good to positively impact communities. On Earth Day 2017, we released our latest set of ambitious goals to help us redefine the role and responsibility of a for-profit, public company. Making our products more recyclable, increasing our purchasing of renewable energy, and operating our stores in a greener and more efficient manner than ever will have increasingly positive impacts on our carbon footprint. We also announced plans to get 100 million healthy coffee trees get into the hands of coffee farmers that need them by 2025.
I am always inspired by Starbucks partners (employees) worldwide, who continue to be one of our most important assets in executing our climate change strategy.
I am always inspired by Starbucks partners (employees) worldwide, who continue to be one of our most important assets in executing our climate change strategy. From our first “Green Team” created in 1994 to help identify environmental opportunities and solutions, to our current “Partners for Sustainability” network of over 1,800 partners globally, our partners believe that sustainability is central to Starbucks.
In response to partner requests for more sustainability programs, last year we created the “Greener Apron” program, an online sustainability course offered through our partnership with Arizona State University. To date, over 4,000 partners worldwide have signed up to learn how they can make a difference in their communities, stores and homes.
From our beginnings, Starbucks has always been and remains committed to using our scale to positively impact the communities we serve around the world. Starbucks will not waiver in its commitment to these initiatives.