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Starbucks Recognized as Global Leader in Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting

Published 11-05-04

Submitted by Starbucks Corporation

SEATTLE - Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) is pleased to announce that its 2003 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Annual Report has been named one of the TTop 50 CSR reports in the world in a new benchmark survey recently released by SustainAbility. The results of the survey are included in SustainAbility's biannual report, Risk & Opportunity: Best Practice in Non-Financial Reporting, which was released this week. Starbucks CSR report ranked 42nd overall and number seven out of eight for U.S.-based companies.

This year marks the first time Starbucks has submitted its CSR Annual Report to this benchmarking survey. SustainAbility, a U.K.-based business consultancy on CSR and sustainable development, has conducted it benchmark survey of corporate non-financial reporting in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme biannually for 10 years. This year, for the first time, Standards & Poor's joined the benchmarking partnership to help explore the crucial links between good sustainability reporting and good corporate governance.

SustainAbility's biannual publication, Risk & Opportunity: Best Practice in Non-Financial Reporting, includes the premier global ranking of outstanding CSR reports. An international committee of experts ranked the top reports based on SustainAbility's methodology which comprises four distinct sections: context and commitment; management quality; economic, social, ethical, environmental and multi-dimensional performance; and accessibility and assurance. In addition to ranking the best reports, SustainAbility's publication also examines overall trends in corporate transparency and sustainability and looks at emerging issues in CSR including governance, risk and materiality.

"More than half of the Ttop 50 CSR reports we ranked were new to our survey," comments Mark Lee, Director, SustainAbility. "It's great to see new entrants such as Starbucks talk about more than just their financial bottom line and make a continued commitment to excellence in CSR practices. We believe the increase in reporting helps improve consumer and investor confidence."

"SustainAbility's ranking is the 'gold standard' of CSR reporting," said Sandra Taylor, senior vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility for Starbucks. "It's an honor to have Starbucks efforts to provide transparency on our social, environmental and economic impacts recognized by the leading authority on CSR reporting. In addition to receiving this public recognition of our efforts, the benchmark report is a valuable tool that provides best practices for CSR reporting that will help guide our future reports and our continued commitment to transparency and accountability."

Starbucks 2003 Report, titled "Living Our Values," details the company's CSR programs, performance and future goals to demonstrate how Starbucks provides social, environmental and economic benefits to the communities in which it operates - from coffee farms in developing countries to its retail operations in local communities throughout the world. The Report is available online at www.starbucks.com/csrannualreport.

SustainAbility is a U.K.-headquartered consultancy on CSR and sustainable development with offices in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Zurich. Risk & Opportunity: Best Practice in Non-Financial Reporting is free to download at www.sustainability.com

Starbucks Corporation is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world, with 8,700 retail locations in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. The Company is committed to offering the highest quality coffee and the Starbucks Experience while conducting its business in ways that produce social, environmental and economic benefits for communities in which it does business.

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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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