Some recent sustainability-related news regarding Starbucks:
- Starbucks has a new Conservation International-branded loyalty card. Every time a customer uses a CI Starbucks card from now through the end of 2010, five cents will go to Conservation International for forest preservation. Starbucks cards are re-loadable cards used for purchases at their stores; registered cards earn rewards. These cards are only available in U.S. stores, but I presume that, like other cards, can be used at any store worldwide.Conservation International has been partnered with Starbucks for over a decade. They worked together to develop Starbucks’ Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices coffee sourcing guidelines and created a funding mechanism to address climate change in coffee growing regions. You can read more about their project that led to Starbucks Organic Shade Grown Mexico coffee variety here. CI’s Charity Navigator profile here.
- Starbucks has become a sponsor of the Betacup challenge, which is looking for a way to reduce the waste from the 58 million paper coffee cups that are thrown away annually. The company will furnish the $20,000 of prize money. Small potatoes for Starbucks, but they have their own cup-related initiatives (see below) and, as explained nicely in this Starbucks Examiner post, cups are not a huge part of the company’s environmental footprint.Starbucks has already committed to making all of its cups recyclable or reusable in the next five years (including their plastic beverage cups), part of a suite of sustainability issues in their Shared Planet program. Seven Manhattan Starbucks stores began a cup-recycling program last fall. I wonder how that’s working out. After all, it’s up to the consumer to reuse, recycle, or bring their own mug.
- A Starbucks store in France won a sustainable retail design award. This store was the first international store that went for LEED-certification, indicating building sustainability. The company plans to have all its new stores LEED-certified. It also has a LEED-certified roasting facility, and the Starbucks headquarters in Seattle is the oldest and largest building to get LEED certification.
Starbucks cup photo by Josh Semans under a Creative Commons License.