Coffee Chain Seeks to Set Industry Standard with Sustainability Framework

In an effort to improve its sustainability, Starbucks last week announced a new initiative to design, build, and operate 10,000 greener stores by 2025. What’s more, the coffee company framework of sustainability standards will be open-sourced, allowing other foodservice and retail operators to use the same criteria and accreditation process as they open new locations and remodel existing stores.

The standards will focus on several areas that have the potential to impact foodservice equipment and kitchen design, including:

  • Energy efficient – reducing energy use by 25 percent compared to previous store designs
  • Water stewardship – using new technology to treat and conserve water with the goal of cutting consumption by 30 percent
  • Waste diversion – reducing waste through product and packaging design
  • Responsible material – using sustainably-sourced materials and products for stores
  • Renewable Energy – investing in community solar and wind projects

The company will spend the next year developing an accredited program to audit its existing company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada against that criteria. The framework is being co-developed by sustainability experts from the World Wildlife Fund and will be audited and verified by SCS Global Services. By implementing the program, Starbucks expects to save $50 million in utilities over the next decade.

“We know that designing and building green stores is not only responsible, it is cost effective as well,” President and CEO Kevin Johnson said. “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.”