Starbucks has committed to design, build and operate 10,000 “greener stores” globally by 2025.
The company says these will be built based on performance criteria that help ensure its approach to building and operating company-owned shops sets a standard for green retail.
Over the next year, Starbucks will develop an accredited program to audit existing company-operated shops in the U.S. and Canada against this criteria, encompassing not just existing shops, but also new ones and renovations.
“Simply put, sustainable coffee served sustainably is our aspiration,” said President and CEO Kevin Johnson, in a press release. “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.”
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The shops, to be built on a foundation of LEED certification and sustainable operating methods, will offer a comprehensive model that is universal in design but most relevant to the retail industry. The framework will focus on several key characteristics.
Energy efficiency and water stewardship: Deploying technologies and practices delivering water savings of about 30 percent and energy savings of 25 percent, relative to previous store design standards
Renewable energy: Sourcing renewable energy equivalent to 100 percent of the electricity used in the U.S. and Canada shops
Healthy environment: Designing and operating stores to create a comfortable experience for staff and customers alike, including lighting, air quality and temperature
Responsible materials: Products and materials that are responsibly and sustainably sourced
Waste diversion: Designing and operating for waste reduction
Engagement: Inspiring a culture of sustainability and empowering workers to take action, stay informed and participate in sustainability issues and practices
Starbucks is projecting that these initiatives will, among other things, help save an incremental $50 million in utilities over the next 10 years. The company also notes that it has already saved some $30 million in yearly operating costs over the past 10 years by introducing greener features in its shops.
By Brannon Boswell