Starbucks Takes Action to Address Climate Change
The company has committed to purchasing enough clean, renewable wind energy to match 5% of the energy needed to power its company-operated retail stores in North America using renewable energy certificates.
"Starbucks is mindful of the long-term implications that climate change has on the environment," said Sandra Taylor, Starbucks senior vice president of corporate social responsibility. "Because the energy used at our retail stores makes up nearly 50 percent of our total greenhouse gas emissions, this is a natural starting point for us. By supporting renewable energy sources we believe we are taking a step in the right direction and encourage other businesses to do the same."
Starbucks voluntarily conducted an inventory of its greenhouse gas emissions in 2004 in an effort to understand and evaluate its contribution to climate change. As a result, the Company has committed to setting an emissions reduction target in 2005. Additionally, Starbucks has joined with other organizations to learn how to address this issue and how to engage others in doing the same. Starbucks recently joined the Climate Group and the World Resources Institute's Green Power Market Development Group, and has announced its financial commitment to Global Green USA in support of their innovative efforts to bring together governments, businesses and individuals to take action on climate change.
"Starbucks is to be congratulated for taking a leadership stance on climate change," said Jonathan Lash, president, World Resources Institute. "It is critical that U.S. businesses aggressively take action if the most serious effects of climate change are to be averted. A successful climate future is simply not possible without immediate participation."
The move to purchase renewable energy for its company-operated retail stores -- generated by approximately 11 large-scale windmills -- is estimated to cut emissions by 2%. It also catapults the Company into the current top 25 U.S. purchasers of renewable energy.
"Even subtle changes in the climate globally may significantly impact the quality of life in coffee growing communities," continued Taylor. "Therefore, climate change is an important part of our overall social responsibility efforts."
Starbucks' 5% commitment translates into an annual carbon dioxide emissions reduction of 34,209,600 pounds. This reduction is comparable to annually removing nearly 3,232 cars from the road or powering approximately 2,500 homes.