Starbucks continues pushing to reduce its environmental impact, announcing that it will operate 10,000 eco-friendly stores by 2025.
On Wednesday, the coffee chain revealed its "Starbucks Greener Stores" initiative, which will see it renovating some 10,000 stores in the United States and Canada, as well as opening several more, that comply with a set of "green" criteria.
"Simply put, sustainable coffee served sustainably is our aspiration," Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of Starbucks, said. "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."
"Starbucks Greener Stores" will focus on efficient water and energy use, renewable energy, healthy environments, responsibly-sourced materials, and waste diversion, saving the company upwards of $50 million over the course of the next decade. Starbucks has also vowed to empower others to become more sustainable, allowing the framework to be adopted by other companies.
The program will be will be co-developed by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and will be audited and verified by SCS Global Services, a third-party verification organization that also oversees Starbucks Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices.
The "Starbucks Greener Stores" announcement comes on the heels of two other recent eco-conscious announcements.
In August, Starbucks announced that it is teaming with McDonald's in a joint effort to reduce the number of disposable cups that are thrown away each year rather than recycled. The companies, two of the biggest producers of paper waste in the world, announced intentions to create a paper cup with a plant-based biodegradable liner that is easily compostable and recyclable.
Just a month prior, the coffee chain announced its plan to stop offering plastic straws by 2020, though it was immediately met with opposition from disability rights groups. While Starbucks intends to quit offering plastic straws with cold drink purchases, instead opting for a newly fashioned lid, straws will still be available upon request.
The coffee chain, which started in 1971 as a single store in Seattle, has a 30-year track record of focusing on sustainability, managing to achieve 99 percent ethically-sourced coffee, offering cups containing 10 percent post-consumer fiber, and giving discounts to customers who bring reusable cups or tumblers to any of their stores.