Starbucks is committed to reducing water use and waste


Starbucks Corp.

SBUX 1.12%

He wants to reduce his use of water and the amount of garbage he sends to landfill in the next decade, the last major company to set new goals to limit its environmental impact.

The coffee giant said Tuesday that its goal is to serve more coffee in reusable cups, curb food and packaging waste and establish a greener menu that includes more plant-based options. Starbucks also plans to build stores that make more efficient use of energy and water, and improve environmental practices among its coffee producers and other suppliers.

Starbucks is one of the many companies that face more pressure from consumers and investors to address sustainability and its environmental impact.

Black rock Inc.,

BLK 0.04%

The world’s largest asset manager and one of Starbucks’ largest shareholders, said earlier this month that he would ask companies to better assess and address their environmental risk. Investment funds with sustainability goals are growing, as is the scrutiny of their efforts to meet those benchmarks.

“The journey we undertake is not only the right one for Starbucks’ responsibility as a corporate citizen of the world, but it is also essential for the relevance of our brand,” said the Executive Director

Kevin Johnson

said in a letter to employees and customers. The company said it plans to include the letter in the annual Starbucks proxy for investors on Friday.

Starbucks was one of the largest companies to say that it would eliminate disposable plastic straws in 2018 in the middle of a protest against its use. Starbucks said he would eliminate them by 2020.

Starbucks is on track to eliminate plastic straws through recyclable paper or lids without straw in more than 30,000 stores where it operates by the end of the year, said John Kelly, executive vice president of public affairs and social impact for the company.

Mr. Kelly said the positive response to Starbucks’ commitment to straws encouraged the company to set more sustainability goals.

“The world is clearly looking for companies like Starbucks to do more,” Kelly said in an interview.

Starbucks has long offered a 10 cent credit for customers who bring their own cups. Now the company is testing other incentives to encourage more customers, which could include a larger refund, Kelly said.

Earlier this month, Starbucks added new coffees with alternatives to almond, coconut and oatmeal dairy as part of its plant-based menu goals. The company is considering adding plant-based meats to its menu, particularly for breakfast products, Kelly said.

“Everything is on the table,” he said.

Write to Heather Haddon at

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