Starbucks to become ‘resource positive’

Starbucks aims to store more carbon than it emits, eliminate waste and provide more clean freshwater than it uses in a new initiative.

The company will be reporting short- and long-term progress against its goals, starting with three preliminary targets for 2030, which will be tracked by the Science-Based Target (SBT) initiative throughout the next decade of a 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions in direct operations and supply chain, 50 per cent of water withdrawal for direct operations and a 50 per cent reduction in waste sent to landfill from stores and manufacturing.

To underscore its commitment to the circular economy, Starbucks has also signed the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, setting circular targets for its packaging.

In a public letter to all company stakeholders, CEO Kevin Johnson set the 2030 SBTs for carbon, water and waste as part of multi-decade aspiration. “As we approach the 50th anniversary of Starbucks in 2021, we are looking ahead with a heightened sense of urgency and conviction that we must challenge ourselves, think bigger and do much more in partnership with others to take care of the planet we share,” Johnson said.

On Starbucks 50th anniversary in 2021, the company will formalise its 2030 environmental goals based on learnings between now and then. Specifically, Johnson noted, the coming year will involve comprehensive market research and trials to better understand consumer behaviour and incentives to encourage more use of reusable containers.

Johnson noted the importance of Starbucks partnerships with others on its journey to be a more sustainable company. Advisors to the company include the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and SustainAbility.

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