Starbucks Greener Stores Accelerate Global Movement Towards a More Sustainable Future

Greener Stores allow Starbucks test solutions for scale to help the company realize its Planet Positive goals to reduce carbon emissions, water usage, and landfill waste by 50%. 

The company will open its first Greener Store outside North America in Shanghai, China with a focus on circularity. 

Over the next year, Starbucks to continue the international expansion of this program with Greener Stores opening in Japan, the UK and Chile. 

As Starbucks celebrates its 50th Anniversary, the company is expanding its open-source Greener Store Framework to help reduce its environmental impact and leverage its scale for good to accelerate the global movement towards a more sustainable future.  

Announced in 2018, the Greener Store Framework, co-developed with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is designed to accelerate the transformation of retail towards lower-impact stores that achieve reductions in carbon emissions, water usage and landfill waste. Starbucks has more than 2,300 Greener Stores in the U.S. and Canada and will begin using the framework outside of North America to achieve its goal of building and retrofitting 10,000 Greener Stores globally by 2025. 

“Our work to become planet positive begins with coffee at origin, and carries through to our stores, right to our customers’ hands,” said Michael Kobori, Starbucks chief sustainability officer. “I’m proud to say that our partners’ energy and passion for sustainability pushes us every day and is the reason why we’ve seen great adoption of our Greener Store standards.” 

Building for the Future  

With performance-based standards that incorporate design and extend throughout the life of a store, Starbucks Greener Stores in North America have reduced energy consumption by 30% compared with the company’s prior store designs. That equals the electricity use of more than 30,000 homes per year. Additionally, state-of-the-art technologies treat and conserve water, reducing annual water use by more than 30%, saving more than 1.3 billion gallons of water annually. Meanwhile, 90% of company operated stores have adopted waste diversion and circular practices, including recycling, composting, Grounds for Your Garden, and Starbucks FoodShare.   

“We’ve proven designing and building greener stores is not only responsible, but also good for business,” said Andy Adams, Starbucks senior vice president, Store Development. “In 2018, we created a new benchmark in retail that goes beyond construction and design to address long-term, eco-conscious operations. Today, we expand the Greener Stores benchmark globally to accelerate our progress toward our Planet Positive goals.”  

Now, Starbucks is opening its first Greener Store outside of North America in Shanghai, China with a focus on circularity. The Shanghai Greener Store has been designed and built to reduce waste, repurpose goods and serve as a platform for future innovation. 

Starbucks will open two additional experiential Greener Stores, like in Shanghai, designed to immerse customers in Starbucks Planet Positive commitments -- the next is planned for Southern California and Starbucks hometown in Seattle, Wash. 

Looking to the future, Starbucks will extend its commitment beyond company operated stores to licensees, joint venture partners and licensees to innovate and expand sustainability programming to deliver more robust energy, carbon, water, and waste reductions.   

Scaling around the Globe 

Over the next year, Starbucks will continue the international expansion of this program with Greener Stores opening in Japan, the UK and Chile.  

Starbucks is also expanding test and learn capabilities for sustainability with innovation test stores that are part of the ecosystem at the ASU-Starbucks Center for the Future of People and the Planet. The ASU-Starbucks Center, slated to open in December, will include work to inspire others to design, build and operate portfolios of buildings that minimize environmental impacts throughout their life cycle. This includes developing a roadmap for Greener Store education efforts, including a toolkit, and learning library, to be open-sourced and available for Starbucks stakeholders and others via Starbucks Global Academy

“Starbucks expansion of the Greener Stores program demonstrates a continued commitment to environmental stewardship and innovation,” said Sheila Bonini Senior Vice President, Private Sector Engagement, World Wildlife Fund. “By making this program open source, and expanding it globally, Starbucks is creating a path toward a resource positive future within their own four walls and beyond.” 

Greening the Supply Chain 

Starbucks commitment to environmentally responsible design, construction and operation extends beyond retail and into its supply chain as well. 

As a progression against Starbucks resource-positive goals, the company recently committed to Carbon Neutral Green Coffee and to conserve water usage in green coffee processing by 50%, both by 2030. This work focuses on Origin – or what Starbucks refers to as “the first ten feet” (farm to port). 

Key to our Greener Stores framework are efforts to accelerate the clean energy transition through onsite solar, and new innovative renewable energy investments and contracts. Earlier this summer, Starbucks completed the installation of a 1-megawatt solar array at the Starbucks Carson Valley Roasting Plant and Distribution Center, one of the largest in the world suppling Starbucks products domestically and internationally. On-site solar energy will provide nearly a third of the Roasting Plant and Distribution Center’s electricity for the year.  

“At the Carson Valley Roasting Plant, we see the cycle come full circle. Starbucks coffee is both grown by and roasted from the sun,” said Kobori. 

Across Starbucks roasting plants, as current roasters reach end of life, the company is replacing them with new roasters that are 40% more energy efficient. 

The Carson Valley Roasting plant also leverages electric vehicles to help with daily operations, and in the year ahead, Starbucks will scale electric vehicle fleets throughout its supply chain.  

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New, more sustainable Starbucks cold cups are made with up to 20 percent less plastic