Starbucks commits US$50m to advance its sustainability commitments, scale innovation | Food Business Africa Magazine
US – American multinational chain of coffeehouses, Starbucks Corp, is set to advance its ambitious target to cut its water and waste footprints in half by 2030 with an investment of US$50 million.
Starbucks executive vice president of global coffee, social impact, and sustainability, Michelle Burns explained that the investments will help the coffeehouse make significant strides toward its sustainability commitments while building a business that scales for good and is driven by innovation.
“At Starbucks, it’s our role and responsibility to protect our planet and give back more than we take. Driven by the passion of its partners, Starbucks is committed to building a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable future for communities and the planet,” he noted.
In support of its expanded water commitment of 50% of water withdrawal conserved or replenished across direct operations, stores, packaging, and agricultural supply chain by 2030, Starbucks said it has committed to prioritizing action in high-risk basins through collective action and supporting watershed health, ecosystem resilience, and water equity.
To achieve the target, Starbucks is leveraging its global reach and partnering with other leading companies that are members of the United Nations Water Resilience Coalition and the public sector to unlock critical capital for making progress against UN SDG 6.
The company highlighted that currently, two billion people around the world are living in water-stressed areas.
In tackling the problem, the Seattle-based company said investing in water, and climate projects can advance equity and human rights, alleviating the impacts of climate change and securing resilient supply chains.
Recently, Starbucks announced an initial anchor investment of up to US$25 million into WaterEquity’s Global Access Fund IV in partnership with other corporate peers and the United States International Development Finance Corporation.
Starbucks is also exploring additional investments to bring its total investment increase its total investment in sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) to US$50 million.
Meanwhile, the Torrefazione Italia Coffee and Teavana brands owner has plans of investing US$10 million investment in Circular Services to reduce landfill waste and drive innovative efforts to shift towards a circular economy in the United States.
This investment, aimed at reducing its environmental impact and bolstering a more robust recycling industry, will not only bring recycling access to Starbucks stores but also create a partnership with leading waste industry stakeholders.
The partnership, according to Starbucks, will create a collaboration on recycling solutions for packaging types with limited access to recycling programs such as Starbucks hot cups.
Circular Services, the largest privately held recycling sector in the US, uses advanced technology to improve the sortation, processing, and reuse of valuable commodities, including consumer packaging, organics, textiles, electronics, and more, for continual reuse in domestic supply chains.
Starbucks investment is part of a collaborative collective including Microsoft, Nestlé, PepsiCo, SK Group, Unilever, and Brookfield Renewable, all working to scale circular economy infrastructure to catalyze further corporate capital and accelerate the growth of innovative partners that will champion the circular economy of the future.
“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 Starbuck’s chief sustainability officer, Michael Kobori.
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