SEATTLE In a move to reduce its ecological footprint, Starbucks Corp. on Monday said all of its cups would be reusable or recyclable by 2015.
The goal is one of 13 environmentally focused initiatives under the “Shared Planet” program outlined by the coffeehouse giant as an expected 10,000 of the coffeehouse chain's employees gather in New Orleans this week for the annual Leadership Conference. As part of the conference, participants are scheduled to take part in community service projects to help rebuild areas hard hit by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
“Starbucks’ Shared Planet is not just about how important it is to us that we’re a socially responsible company, it’s to reaffirm Starbucks’ leadership in the retail and coffee industries and the communities in which we are operating,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive. “While these goals are aspirational, we have set substantive measurements that will challenge us to be a better company.”
In addition to moving to reusable and recyclable cups, Starbucks has pledged to increase recycling in stores; to find renewable source for 50 percent of energy used by 2010; to make company-owned stores 25 percent more energy efficient; and to reduce water usage.
By 2010, Starbucks aims to achieve “certified green” status for all new company-owned stores, though it was unclear what standards would be used.
Starbucks also promised to champion protection of tropical forests, supporting coffee farmers and providing incentives to prevent deforestation.
The company also aims to purchase 100 percent of all coffee through ethical sourcing practices by 2015. Currently, about 65 percent of coffee purchased meets that standard.