In my mind, Starbucks has been associated with doing good since the (RED) campaign came out a couple years ago. Helping other large corporations and celebrities bring awareness to the AIDS epidemic in Africa was incredibly admirable. In addition to that, Starbucks was built on the philosophy of brewing and selling Fair Trade Certified coffee. Also incredible.
Recently, in an effort to stay on top of the do-gooder float, Starbucks has launched their own initative called “Shared Planet“. The idea behind Shared Planet is that Starbucks (as well as individuals) should partake in activities that are good for eachother, and good for the planet. Under the Shared Planet inititve they are taking the idea of “Fair Trade” one step further, and developing an “ethically grown” approach. “Ethically grown” coffees will be certified by a third party to ensure that all coffee grown is grown in a manner that protects the environment and gives back to the farming communities. Currently all “ethically grown” products have a stamp of approval on them, but the goal is that by 2015 100% of Starbucks coffees will be both ethically grown and traded. Currently, 75% of the company’s products meet this goal. The reason behind implementing the “ethically grown” approach is this:
“Because of our size, we buy from coffee cooperatives and farms of all sizes, while Fair Trade focuses exclusively on smaller farms and cooperatives. Starbucks has always been committed to purchasing coffee that is responsibly grown and ethically traded, so we developed our own ethical buying guidelines for farms outside of the Fair Trade System – while continuing to support Fair Trade Certified™ farmers. (from the Shared Planet FAQ site)
If (RED) and Shared Planet aren’t enough to convince you that Starbucks really is trying to be planet Earth’s best friend, maybe this will. As part of the Shared Planet initiative, by the end of 2010, all new company owned Starbucks stores will be LEED certified.
Here are some highlights of the Starbucks LEED-Certification quest:
– Each new store will save enough water for 2 US households
– Construction waste will be cut in half
– Each store will use 35% less energy for lighting
Posted by Courtney || Follow me on Twitter