Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) has announced its new global store design strategy. Inspired by Starbucks Shared Planet, the company’s ongoing commitment to ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship, and community involvement, the new designs will reflect the character of each store’s surrounding neighborhood and help to reduce environmental impacts.

As company-operated stores are built and renovated, Starbucks will source materials and employ craftsmen on a localized basis, and will incorporate reused and recycled elements where possible. Starbucks aims to achieve LEED certification for all new company-operated stores beginning in 2010. In addition, Starbucks will provide licensed stores and other business partners with design plans and guidance on construction.

“We recognize the importance of continuously evolving with our customers’ interests, lifestyles and values in order to stay relevant over the long term,” says Arthur Rubinfeld, president of Starbucks Global Development. “Our new design approach will allow customers to feel truly at home when visiting their local store and give them opportunities for discovery at our other locations around the world.”

While the new store designs are highly interpretive, they share several core characteristics, including use of local materials and craftsmanship, a focus on reused and recycled elements, exposure of structural integrity and authentic roots, a focus on coffee and removal of unnecessary distractions, customer engagement through all five senses, and flexibility to meet the needs of many customer types—individual readers and computer users, as well as work, study and social groups.

“Ultimately, we hope customers will feel an enhanced sense of community, a deeper connection to our coffee heritage, and a greater level of commitment to environmental consciousness,” Rubinfeld says.

Starbucks’ new store design strategy aligns with specific long-term goals related to energy and water conservation, recycling, and green construction. Those goals include the derivation of 50 percent of the energy used in company-operated stores from renewable sources by 2010, a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by making company-operated stores 25 percent more energy efficient by 2010, achieving LEED certification for all new company-operated stores worldwide by late 2010, ensuring 100 percent of cup supply will be reusable or recyclable by 2015, and making recycling available in company-operated stores where Starbucks controls waste collection by 2015.

Over the course of the next year, Starbucks will replace incandescent light bulbs inside its stores with LED bulbs as part of a global retrofit program that will result in energy efficiencies and cost savings. The company is also placing plaques throughout its new and renovated stores to explain specific green design and construction elements.

“We hope to not only inform customers about our environmental efforts, but to motivate them to make environmentally responsible choices once they leave our stores,” says Jim Hanna, Starbucks director of Environmental Impact. “Starbucks is a values company and we place a high level of importance on doing business responsibly and conducting ourselves in ways that earn the trust and respect of our customers and neighbors.”

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