Starbucks Makes an Eco-Initiative to Waste Less Water, Plastic, and Resources in the Next Decade

Starbucks Makes an Eco-Initiative to Waste Less Water, Plastic, and Resources in the Next Decade

One of the world’s biggest caffeine providers is now focused on making its water and carbon footprint a lot greener.

After taking heat from consumers from some time, Starbucks Corp. announced its latest sustainability targets for a more environmentally conscious business model. It wants to cut its water use, decrease the amount of trash it sends to landfills, and offer more plant-based food options for its consumers.

The coffee giant plans to meet these goals with the following methods: serve more coffee in reusable cups with consumer initiatives, curb food and packaging waste (by limiting single-use plastics), and set a more environmentally friendly menu. It also plans to build more stores that make more efficient use of energy, agricultural, and water sources.

Now, consumers can earn a 10 cents credit by bringing a reusable cup to the store for their drink order. The company hopes to increase incentive through a number of efforts.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson says the company plans to cut carbon emission, waste, and water levels by 50 percent overall by 2030. The company calls this environmental goal a drive to become “resource positive.”

The company is testing reusable products at various locations, including Gatwick Airport in the UK. It is also testing meat alternatives for its breakfast menu, said a spokeswoman.

“Earlier this month we rolled out more plant-based coffee beverages in the U.S. including testing oat milk in the Midwest,” she added. “We're also testing meat alternatives for our breakfast menu. Customers can expect to see more plant-based options from us this year and beyond.”

The coffee giant has made steps toward improving its ecological impact in the past: two years ago it pledged to eliminate all plastic straws by 2020. However, this new environmental campaign was not necessarily company-driven. Environmental groups have targeted Starbucks for contributing to global pollution—namely its huge production of plastic straws, cups, and packaging. Advocacy group Clean Water Action estimated that the chain uses more than 8,000 paper cups a minute.

The goal of the initiative to save water, resources, and limit emissions is, of course, in an effort to make a positive impact on the Environment. However, the company also hopes that it will partner with others in the future to take care of the planet. Johnson said the effort will “require transformational change. Like most things that are worthwhile, this will not be easy.”

For more information on the topic, visit articles on the topic by media outlets CBS news and The Wall Street Journal.