State of Green Business


Starbucks on scaling sustainability innovation

Jim Hanna, who directs sustainability and environmental impact at Starbucks, challenged GreenBiz Forum attendees to figure out how to scale up and go all out on the giant coffee company's sustainability efforts because "frankly, without this thing called scale, we're not gonna do it." The problem of a warming earth is just that big.

The big ideas he suggested are: to plug into the innovation pipeline at your company to scale good ideas; to be humble enough to let others lead — even competing companies — if they have a workable solution; and to galvanize yet other companies who are not yet thinking about sustainability.

The biggest challenge, he said, "is how do we move from invention to innovation because without scale, innovation doesn't exist."