Starbucks plans global expansion of greener stores focused on sustainability
Starbucks said on Wednesday it will expand its greener store setting by opening the first prototype outside of North America in Shanghai, China.
The Shanghai-based Greener Store will open on September 30 and is the first of three experiential locations designed to immerse customers in Starbucks’ “Planet Positive” commitments. The next experiential stores will debut in Southern California and Starbucks hometown of Seattle.
The Greener Store Framework, co-developed with the World Wildlife Fund, focuses on energy efficiency, water management, renewable energy, responsible materials and waste diversion. The stores allow Starbucks to test solutions while meeting certain “Planet Positive” goals such as reducing carbon emissions, water consumption and landfill waste by 50%.
“Our work to become a positive planet begins with coffee in its origins and continues in our stores, into the hands of our customers,” said Michael Kobori, director of sustainability at Starbucks, in a statement. “I am proud to say that the energy and passion of our partners for sustainability drives us every day and that is why we have seen a great adoption of our Greener Store standards.
In 2018, Starbucks committed to build and operate 10,000 Greener Stores worldwide by 2025. Currently, the coffee chain has more than 2,300 Greener Stores in the United States and Canada. International expansion will continue in Japan, UK and Chile next year.
“We have proven that designing and building greener stores is not only responsible but also good for business,” said Andy Adams, senior vice president of store development at Starbucks, in a statement. “In 2018, we created a new benchmark in retail that goes beyond construction and design to tackle long-term, environmentally conscious operations. Today, we are expanding the Greener Stores benchmark globally to accelerate our progress towards our Planet Positive goals. “
The Shanghai Greener Store has several differences from the traditional units in the coffee chain. About half of the interior can be recycled, upcycled or biodegraded, and paper receipts and menus no longer exist, in favor of digital options. Customers will use reusable cups instead of single-use, and more than half of the menu is plant-based, with oat milk as the typical offering for all drinks. A ‘Circular Lifestyle Lab’ will also organize exhibitions on the topic of sustainability.
“Starbucks’ expansion of the Greener Stores program demonstrates an ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship and innovation,” said Sheila Bonini, senior vice president of private sector engagement at WWF, in a statement. “By making this program open source and expanding it globally, Starbucks is paving the way for a positive future for resources within its four walls and beyond. “