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The Almond Milk Honey Flat White at Starbucks.

New planet-saving goals at Starbucks focus on plant-based foods at breakfast

CEO Kevin Johnson outlines 2030 goals as brand strives to be 'resource positive'

Starbucks announced five strategies for reducing the chain’s carbon emissions, water use and waste by 2030 – a revised environmental plan that includes adding more plant-based beverages and foods to store menus.

The Seattle-based chain, which turns 51 next year, said the company is striving “to become resource positive” by eliminating waste, providing more clean freshwater than what the company uses and storing more carbon than what the brand emits.

“This is an aspiration that we take on, recognizing it will come with challenges and will require transformational change,” CEO Kevin Johnson wrote in a letter released Tuesday. “Like most things that are worthwhile, this will not be easy. It will require all of us to play a role, and so we invite you to join us.”

Johnson outlined five strategies for meeting those goals including expanding plant-based menu options.

The company said it will migrate toward a more environmentally friendly menu through the addition of more plant-based foods on the breakfast menu.

"We are exploring meat alternatives for our breakfast menu, and customers around the world can expect to see more plant-based options from us this year and beyond," the company told Nation's Restaurant News in a statement.

Earlier this month, the brand introduced plant-based milk alternatives to the national menu with the introduction of two new permanent beverages: Almond Milk Honey Flat White and Coconut Milk Latte. In the Midwest, the brand introduced oat milk as a new non-dairy option.

The company’s other strategies include shifting from single use to reusable packaging; investing in innovative and regenerative agricultural practices; investing in better ways to manage waste in cafes and local communities; and developing more eco-friendly stores, operations, manufacturing and delivery.

Johnson said the company will launch “trials to better understand consumer behavior and incentives to encourage more use of reusable containers” as it strives to encourage a circular economy where plastics never become waste. The company has already moved in that direction with its support of fast-tracking innovation that would lead to a recyclable or compostable cup through the NextGen Cup Challenge.

Johnson set a 2030 target for meeting the following goals: a 50% reduction in carbon emissions in Starbucks direct operations and supply chain; 50% of water withdrawal for direct operations and coffee production will be conserved or replenished with a focus on helping high-risk communities and basins; and 50% reduction in waste sent to landfills from stores and manufacturing.

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @fastfoodmaven

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