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Starbucks amps up its environmental friendliness

The coffee chain expects to save millions in utility bills under its new Greener Stores initiative.
Photographs courtesy of Starbucks

Starbucks expects to save $50 million over the next decade in utility bills by ramping up its commitment to environmental protection, the coffee giant said this week in announcing plans for a Greener Stores initiative.

The environmental program includes a pledge to design, build and operate 10,000 stores by 2025 that run with a high level of commitment to energy efficiency, water stewardship, renewable energy, environmental health, sustainable materials, waste reduction and community engagement.

“Simply put, sustainable coffee, served sustainably is our aspiration,” Starbucks CEO and President Kevin Johnson said in a statement. “We know that designing and building green stores is not only responsible, it is cost effective as well.”

renewable energy

Starbucks, in cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund, will develop a framework for its Greener Stores program to audit all existing stores in the United States and Canada. The rubric will also apply to new builds and renovations.

The framework will be open-sourced so other retailers can borrow from the model, the company said.

“When companies step up and demonstrate leadership, other businesses often follow with commitments of their own, driving further positive impacts,” Erin Simon, director of research and development for the World Wildlife Fund, said in a statement.

Starbucks infographic

The move is the latest in a long history of environmental efforts by Starbucks. In July, the company announced plans to eliminate plastic straws from its stores worldwide by 2020. In May, Starbucks shared plans for a massive waste-reduction program. And in March, the company announced it would put $10 million behind a challenge to develop a fully recyclable, compostable coffee cup.

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