2020 Report: Planet
Our vision for the future is to become resource positive — giving back more than we take from the planet. And we know we can’t do it alone. It takes all of us.
BECOMING A RESOURCE-POSITIVE COMPANY
An Update on Our Progress
- Carbon: 50% absolute reduction in scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions representing all of Starbucks direct operations and value chain
- Water: 50% of water withdrawal from direct operations and coffee production will be conserved or replenished
- Waste: 50% reduction in waste sent to landfill from stores (including packaging that leaves stores) and direct operations, driven by a broader shift toward a circular economy
In January 2020, we announced a multi-decade aspiration to be a resource-positive company, giving more than we take from the planet. This means storing more carbon than we emit, eliminating waste and replenishing more freshwater than we use.
We set preliminary 2030 reduction targets, pledging to cut our carbon, water and waste footprints by half, working from a 2018 baseline. Since then, our carbon goal has been validated as science-based from the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), and as part of the validation process we adjusted our baseline year for all three reduction targets to FY19. The SBTi has confirmed that our scope 1 and 2 portion of our 2030 carbon target is aligned with a 1.5°C pathway, the most ambitious level they validate.
To meet our 2030 goals, we set five key strategies, rooted in science, grounded in Starbucks Mission and Values, and informed by comprehensive market research and trials:
- Expand plant-based menu options
- Shift away from single-use to reusable packaging
- Invest in regenerative agriculture, reforestation, forest conservation and water replenishment in our supply chain
- Invest in better ways to manage our waste
- Innovate to develop more sustainable stores, operations, manufacturing and delivery
We are governing our sustainability commitments through our Global Environmental Council, which is comprised of senior leaders across Starbucks whose compensation is tied to performance against our goals. We also formally review and seek counsel from our Board of Directors Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, along with informal advisors who are experts and influencers in the sustainability sector.
From FY19 to FY20, we are able to report an 11% reduction in carbon emissions against our 2030 carbon goal; 4% water reduction against our 2030 water goal; and 12% reduction in waste against our 2030 waste goal. This level of annual reduction at this stage in our journey toward our 2030 targets was not anticipated and is due primarily to reduced business activity in FY20 as a result of COVID-19; it is not likely to be typical going forward. They are also due, in part, to improvement of data availability and quality as we improve our environmental impact measurement process.
NEW EFFORTS TO REDUCE CARBON AND REPLENISH WATER
An Update on Our Progress
As we work to invest in regenerative agriculture, reforestation, forest conservation and water replenishment in our supply chain, we launched pilots in FY20 in Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Rwanda and Kenya focused on working toward reducing our environmental footprint in green coffee. This included alternative coffee processing and new wet mill innovations designed to save up to 80% of water, as well as precision agronomy practices – such as analyzing soil and leaves – to help reduce our carbon footprint.
Through our partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), we’re leveraging WWF’s Water Risk tool to map our highest risk basins and better understand the challenges in those basins across origin countries and store communities, helping ensure long-term access to freshwater.
And in FY20, we joined the new Transform to Net Zero initiative as a founding member. Comprised of nine founding members, the Initiative’s objective is to accelerate the transition to a net zero global economy no later than 2050 by developing and delivering research, guidance and roadmaps to guide businesses in achieving net zero emissions.
Oatmilk, Meat Substitutes
Expanding Starbucks plant-based menu globally is one of the ways we are pursuing our carbon reduction goal. Our aim is to provide customers with a variety of choices. Starbucks stores around the globe launched new plant-based menu options in FY20. Most significantly, Canada, China and the U.S. introduced oatmilk; the U.S. introduced the Impossible™ Breakfast Sandwich; and Canada and China introduced breakfast sandwiches using Beyond Meat® products.
Researching Incentives, Testing Single-Use Fees
Goal: Double the use of reusable cups from 2016-2022
COVID-19 safety measures challenged our ability to allow customers and partners to use personal cups and “for here” ware in our stores, and we paused on those initiatives while using FY20 to conduct consumer and market research to better understand how best to incentivize the use of reusables. In FY20, 1.3% of beverages sold were in reusable cups, either a customer’s personal cup or “for here” ware, in company-operated stores in Canada, EMEA, Japan and the U.S. Meanwhile, we tested single-use cup fees in UK and Germany. And in the UK, Starbucks launched the Circular Cup, a reusable cup made in the UK from approximately six single-use paper cups.
MANAGING WASTE FROM CUPS AND STRAWS
Five New Markets Recycling, Strawless Lids in U.S. and Canada
- 20% recycled content in our hot cups by 2022
- Develop 100% compostable and recyclable hot cups by 2022
- Elimination of plastic straws by the end of 2021
In partnership with Closed Loop Partners and the NextGen Consortium, we worked in FY20 toward our goal to develop 100% compostable and recyclable hot cups. In FY20, five new markets joined the list of major markets where Starbucks hot cups are recyclable: Kent County, Mich.; Lansing, Mich.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; St. Lucie County, Fla.; and Athens County, Ga. They join 13 other major markets: Seattle; Washington, DC; Denver; New York; San Francisco; Boston; Louisville, Ky.; Dallas; Vancouver; London; Amsterdam;and Chattanooga, Tenn. In Canada, stores are funding in-store recycling where it’s possible.
As we work to shift away from single-use plastics and champion the use of recycled content in packaging, our hot cups contain 10% post-consumer fiber. In FY20, we joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment that’s centered around a vision of a circular economy for plastic in which it never becomes waste. In doing this, we committed to:
- Take action to help eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging by 2025.
- Take action to move from single-use towards reuse models where relevant by 2025.
- Take action for 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
- Use 5-10% recycled content across all plastic packaging by 2025.
In our effort to eliminate one billion plastic straws a year, we are on track to meet our 2021 goal. In FY20 we completed the rollout of strawless lids across the U.S. and Canada, which we modeled after our hot drink lid and has approximately 9% less plastic than the flat lid and straw historically used for iced beverages. Unlike traditional plastic straws, the strawless lids can be recycled in many markets in the U.S. and Canada. We also signed the U.S. Plastics Pact as a call to action for a better waste infrastructure.
RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR STORES AND COMMUNITIES
Powering 72% of Operations Globally
Goal: Invest in 100% renewable energy to power operations globally by the end of 2020
Worldwide, Starbucks purchases enough renewable energy to power 100% of our company-operated locations in the U.S., Canada and Europe, and 72% of company-operated locations globally, with market constraints in China and Japan challenging our ability to reach our 2020 goal. As members of the RE100, we remain committed to reaching 100% renewable energy globally as access increases in Asian markets.
A priority in FY20 was expanding our roster of renewable energy projects in the U.S., supporting the growth of green energy onto the grid close to the stores that use the energy. We used our scale to drive innovation across the energy sector and support not only our stores but also the communities around our stores:
- In New York state, Starbucks invested nearly $97 million in up to 23 new community solar projects, which will supply solar energy to 24,000+ households, small businesses, nonprofits, churches, universities and Starbucks Stores.
- In Virginia, we finalized an agreement with a solar farm that will offset 50% of our company-operated roasting and beverage production sites’ electricity consumption in the U.S. by 2022.
- In California, we launched the company’s first next generation on-site solar store, and we have entered into a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) and Virtual Storage Agreement (VSA) that will provide renewable energy for more than 550 of our stores with solar energy and utility-scale batteries.
- At home in Washington state, a new wind project is providing renewable energy to about 140 of our stores and our Kent Roasting Plant, along with numerous nearby communities.
2,317 Stores to Date
Goal: Build and operate 10,000 stores in the Greener Stores framework globally by 2025
Through our open-source Starbucks Greener Stores framework, developed in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and in collaboration with other nongovernmental organizations, we have created a new benchmark in retail for design, construction and operation. In FY20, our second year of certifying stores, we tripled the number of stores in the Greener Stores network to a total of 2,317 certified stores in the U.S. and Canada. Circumstances surrounding COVID-19 slowed some areas of progress, but it also provided an opportunity for us to build on learnings from our first year to optimize standards to reflect the needs of our diverse store portfolio. We also saw stores improving their adoption of Greener Store standards, such as energy efficiency and recycling, thanks in part to partners’ growing interest and motivation surrounding sustainability.
28,000 Partners Enrolled in Greener Apron
Goal: Empower 10,000 partners to be sustainability champions by the end of 2020
With growing interest among our partners in sustainability, more than 28,000 worldwide have now enrolled in in the Greener Apron sustainability training program through Starbucks Global Academy. We continue to expand opportunities for partners to engage on sustainability, in part because increased awareness and adoption of environmentally friendly practices among partners is key to the success of our overall sustainability goals.
Read more and see fiscal 2021 updates on our progress in the full report.