Starbucks Corp. is using proceeds from the offering of a $500 million bond to enhance its sustainable coffee-growing program.
The Seattle-based chain said Monday that it has closed an underwritten public offering of senior notes, including the first-ever U.S. Corporate Sustainability Bond.
The 10-year, 2.45-percent senior notes will support Starbucks’ goals of ensuring that coffee purchases come from ethical sources verified by a third party.
In addition, the effort will include the development and operation of farmer support centers in coffee-growing regions, as well as offering short- and long-term loans made through Starbucks Global Farmer Fund.
“Coffee is at the core of our business, and we intend to continue to finance initiatives that will make a positive social and environmental impact in our coffee supply chain, as well as other areas across our business,” Scott Maw, Starbucks chief financial officer, said in a statement. “Issuing a bond focused on sustainable sourcing demonstrates that sustainability is not just an add-on, but an integral part of Starbucks, including our strategy and finances.”
Starbucks’ effort to ensure its coffee is grown in a way that is environmentally and socially sustainable goes back 15 years.
The company operates eight farmer support centers around the world and has committed to providing $50 million in farmer financing. The company has also bought a coffee farm in Costa Rica, which has been developed into a global agronomy center.
In 2015, Starbucks said 99 percent of its 551 million pounds of coffee purchases were verified as ethically sourced.