Starbucks is going green. Well, the company—as one of the world’s largest retail builder of LEED-certified stores—was already pretty green, but Starbucks announced September 13 that the brand would commit to designing, building, and operating 10,000 of what it calls “Greener Stores” globally by 2025. This will encompass existing stores, new builds, and renovations.
Over 2019, the brand will develop a program to audit existing company-operated stores in the U.S. and Canada against the comprehensive framework criteria.
The “Starbucks Greener Stores” framework is anticipated to save the company an incremental $50 million in utilities over the next 10 years. This builds on its 10-year legacy of utility cost savings attributable to Greener Store practices, which already equates to about $30 million in saved annual operating costs.
These Greener Stores will focus on energy efficiency and water stewardship by deploying technologies and practices that will deliver 30 percent water savings and 25 percent avoided energy over store design practices. Stores will be powered 100 percent by renewable energy from solar and wind projects and be designed and operated to reduce waste and create a comfortable experience that promotes wellness for customers and partners through lighting noise, air quality, and temperature. The stores will also be designed with responsibly sourced materials and products and in a way that engages customers and partners in the cause.
With this effort, Starbucks hopes to set a new standard for green retail.
“Simply put, sustainable coffee, served sustainably is our aspiration,” said Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of Starbucks, in a statement about the new initiative. “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 joined with the U.S. Green Building Council in 2001 to develop the LEED for Retail program and opened its first LEED-certified store in 2005. Today, Starbucks operates more than 1,500 LEED-certified stores globally.
"One of our social impact pillars is sustainability," Johnson said at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco preceding the announcement. "We are a company that believes, in the fabric of mission and values, that the pursuit of profit is not in conflict with the pursuit of doing good.”