Hello, it is clear that, like us, many of you are concerned about the environment and how we can minimize our environmental footprint. I thought you might be interested to know that just this week Starbucks announced our participation in a new coalition of consumer brands advocating for action on the issue of climate change. We are a founding member along with other leading responsible companies Nike, Timberland, Levis, and Sun Microsystems. We’re basically joining together to advocate for stronger climate change and clean energy policies.
The initiative is called the Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) coalition and brings a new voice to the climate and energy policy conversation. The group behind this coalition is CERES, a national public interest group helping to address sustainability issues. You can read more about it on their website, http://www.ceres.org/bicep.
So you might be thinking, why does a coffee company care about climate change? While we believe all business will be affected by a changing climate, as a business that depends on an agricultural product, we think this could affect us and the people and places that we depend on for our great coffee a lot. So now is the time to increase our investments in solutions and strategies that address this issue.
As a company that serves millions of customers every day, Starbucks feels a responsibility to positively impact the communities in which we do business. Too often, fears of economic impacts and opposition from the business community are cited as reasons to not pursue a comprehensive climate policy. We’ve joined this effort to change that misperception. We believe that addressing climate change will help companies like ours reduce operating costs and mitigate future economic instability due to extreme weather conditions and agricultural loss.
We recently set new environmental targets as part of our Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ commitment. One of our goals is that by 2015, 100 percent of our cups will be reusable or recyclable. We will also significantly reduce our environmental footprint through energy and water conservation, recycling, and green construction.
Many of our existing programs, as well as ones under development, are helping us reach these goals. Starbucks already purchases renewable energy that represents 20 percent of our U.S. and Canada usage, and our new goal more than doubles this commitment to 50 percent. We also recently expanded a 10-year relationship with Conservation International to further tackle climate change by looking beyond coffee farms and into surrounding tropical forests – areas critical to address climate change now.
Participating in the BICEP coalition is one way we’re working to deliver on these Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ commitments to doing business responsibly.
Ben, vp global responsibility