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Starbucks Coffee Company Becomes First-Ever EnviroStars Recognized Leader

Published 09-28-04

Submitted by Starbucks Corporation

SEATTLE, WA - Starbucks Coffee Company received the first-ever EnviroStars Recognized Leader distinction. This new designation was established by the EnviroStars business certification program, to acknowledge a select group of highly successful businesses that are taking substantial steps towards reducing their environmental footprint in the Puget Sound region and beyond.

"Starbucks illustrates a leadership commitment to the environment and community building balanced with proactive business strategies. We think that's a good business model that can help set an example for other businesses in the region," explains King County's EnviroStars program manager Laurel Tomchick. "We want to acknowledge and celebrate their accomplishments and their focus on profitable sustainability."

Starbucks environmental commitment was formally solidified in 1992 with the creation of their environmental mission statement which is based on the belief that environmental leadership is an essential component of the way they do business. In order to ensure the company continues to improve environmental performance, Starbucks management formed the Environmental Footprint team - a cross-functional team working together to identify systematic opportunities to minimize the company's footprint on the planet- and the Green Team - a team of store managers from across North America who work to improve Starbucks environmental performance by improving retail operations and increasing awareness of environmental issues.

There are three high impact areas of business operations that Starbucks focuses its environmental strategy:

  • Sourcing of coffee, tea and paper. Starbucks has partnered with Conservation International in order to encourage the sustainable production of coffee. This year the company established Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices that are a comprehensive set of coffee buying guidelines that promote equitable relationships with farmers and encourages sustainable farming practices that protect the environment. They are also focused on sustainable production of tea and paper.
  • Transportation. Starbucks has established incentives to encourage their partners (employees) to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and parking demands.
  • Store design and operations. Starbucks has undergone a number of improvements to reduce natural gas, electricity and water consumption in its stores. The company is also partnering with the U.S. Green Building Council to establish a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) application guide for retail.

    "Starbucks is deeply honored to be recognized as an environmental leader," said Jim Donald, President of Starbucks North America. "Starbucks strives not only to be a great, enduring brand, but to be a company that champions business practices that produce social, environmental and economic benefits globally."

    King County Executive Ron Sims presented Starbucks with the EnviroStars Recognized Leader distinction at the Profitable Sustainability conference held at the Seattle Westin Hotel on September 28, 2004. The award ceremony was part of the Luncheon Plenary - "Business Leadership Roundtable: Is Sustainability Possible in a Profit Driven World?"

    "Starbucks commitment has set a tremendous example of how to be both successful and sustainable for other businesses in our community," says Tomchick.

    EnviroStars plans to extend the EnviroStars Recognized Leader distinction to a select group of high-profile businesses in the Puget Sound region that have, like Starbucks, reduced their overall environmental footprint. The goal is for these businesses to act as models, mentors, and catalysts for the spread of environmentally sustainable practices, including the reduction of hazardous waste.

    The EnviroStars program is a service of the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County. The business certification program supports businesses in the management and reduction of hazardous waste, and rates them with 2- to 5-stars according to their demonstrated commitment to environmentally responsible practices. Currently, there are approximately 600 businesses certified in the region. The EnviroStars program is also available in Pierce, Kitsap, Jefferson and Whatcom counties.

    For more information, please visit or call 1-877-220-STAR (7827).

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    Starbucks Corporation

    Starbucks Corporation

    It's the way we do business Contributing positively to our communities and environment is so important to Starbucks that it's a guiding principle of our mission statement. We jointly fulfill this commitment with partners (employees), at all levels of the company, by getting involved together to help build stronger communities and conserve natural resources.

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