Starbucks Donates $50m to Eco-Friendly Funds
Starbucks has announced an investment of more than $50 million to achieve its goal of reducing its water and waste footprints by 50% before 2030, ahead of the 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
“At Starbucks, it’s our role and responsibility to protect our planet and give back more than we take. These investments will help us make significant strides toward our sustainability commitments while building a business that scales for good and is driven by innovation,” said Starbucks executive vice president of global coffee, social impact, and sustainability Michelle Burns.
Starbucks' partners are motivated by their passion for creating a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient future for both communities and the planet. This new investment underscores the potential of collective action across various industries and demonstrates Starbucks' leadership in promoting environmental responsibility while pursuing long-term business objectives through strategic partnerships.
Creating a Future with a Positive Water Footprint
Currently, approximately two billion individuals worldwide reside in regions where water scarcity is a concern. Investing in climate and water initiatives can help promote equity and human rights, mitigate the effects of climate change, and establish reliable supply chains.
Starbucks has pledged to prioritise efforts in areas with high water risks and collaborate on collective action to improve watershed health, bolster ecosystem resilience, and promote water equity.
This commitment is in alignment with Starbucks' goal of conserving or replenishing 50% of its water withdrawals across its direct operations, stores, packaging, and agricultural supply chain by 2030.
To fulfil this objective, Starbucks is capitalising on its extensive global network and collaborating with other major corporations that are members of the United Nations Water Resilience Coalition and the public sector to obtain essential capital for achieving progress in line with UN SDG 6.
Starbucks has declared an initial investment of up to $25 million in partnership with other corporate leaders and the United States International Development Finance Corporation into WaterEquity's Global Access Fund IV. By doing so, Starbucks is spearheading an inventive strategy to promote water stewardship to inspire other companies to invest in water-related initiatives.
It is also exploring additional investments to bring its total intended contribution toward promoting access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) to $50 million.
Starbucks' recent investment in WaterEquity will aid in enhancing water access and quality for underprivileged communities in South and Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America through microfinance loans for purchasing WASH items and services like household toilets, water filters, and tap connections.
Such innovative investments complement The Starbucks Foundation's longstanding history of investments in WASH across the world and align with the company's commitment to improving WASH for five million people. In addition, Starbucks is working with prominent NGO partners such as WWF, TNC, Water.org, and WaterAid to implement ongoing programs in high-risk basins.
Making Investments in a Circular Economy
Starbucks has taken a significant stride in reducing its environmental footprint and promoting a more sustainable recycling industry by investing $10 million in Circular Services.
This investment aims to minimise landfill waste and encourage innovative initiatives that promote a circular economy in the United States.
Circular Services is currently the largest privately owned recycling company in the US, and Starbucks' investment will help the company in its efforts to help US businesses and municipalities reduce the amount of valuable recyclable materials sent to landfills.
By using advanced technology to improve sorting, processing, and reusing valuable commodities such as consumer packaging, organics, textiles, and electronics, Circular Services will continually reuse such materials in domestic supply chains.
Through this investment, Starbucks is not only providing recycling access to its stores but also forming a partnership with key stakeholders in the waste industry to develop recycling solutions for packaging types that have limited access to recycling programmes, such as Starbucks' hot cup.
“Now is the time for bold action to transform the recycling infrastructure in the U.S. Starbucks is excited to join with Microsoft, Nestle, PepsiCo, SK Group, Unilever, Brookfield and the Partnership Fund for New York City to help generate nearly a billion-dollar investment in Circular Services. This builds upon our long-standing work with Closed Loop Partners, whose NextGen Consortium has made significant strides in advancing sustainable packaging, including bringing hot cup recycling to more communities,” said Starbucks chief sustainability officer, Michael Kobori.
Starbucks' investment is part of a collaborative effort that includes companies such as Microsoft, Nestlé, PepsiCo, SK Group, Unilever, and Brookfield Renewable.
The group aims to scale circular economy infrastructure, with the ultimate goal of encouraging further corporate investment and accelerating the growth of innovative partners that will promote the circular economy of the future.
As Starbucks looks to the future, the company is challenging itself to think bigger and to do more in partnership with others to care for the planet. With the help of its partners, customers, industry experts, and advocates, Starbucks is innovating and testing new ways to protect the planet and scaling these initiatives to have a greater impact.