Starbucks Just Reached A Huge Milestone (And It's Something We All Can Get Behind)

mbg Sustainability Editor By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability Editor
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care."

Starbucks is in the news again, and this time it's not for its red cups.

This week, the chain announced that it now has over 700 LEED Certified store locations — more than any other global retailer.

The LEED certification program recognizes buildings that have been designed or renovated with the environment in mind. It awards certification based on a space's sustainable commitments in areas like energy efficiency and water use.

By integrating energy-efficient light fixtures, local and sustainably-sourced building materials and even recycled coffee grounds into its design process, Starbucks has achieved the certification in more than 700 stores across 19 countries over the last decade. The company isn't done yet — it hopes to add 500 more certified shops to its portfolio by the end of 2016.

“Our job as designers is to create spaces that reflect the communities we serve while anticipating its future needs so that we are designing for the longevity of the neighborhood as well as our business,” said Bill Sleeth, VP of Store Design. “Our responsibility is to do this in a way that integrates environmental sensitivity and local resources, so that we are also using our scale for good.”

The coffee mecca complements its green design with other environmentally-friendly business practices. Its cups are made of partially-recycled material, and it rewards customers with drink discounts when they bring their own reusable mugs to stores.

It's refreshing to see such a giant corporation use its clout in a way that gives a little something back to the planet. We'll drink (a soy latte) to that.

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