Starbucks Commits To Sustainability With "Resource Positive" Pledge

mbg Editorial Assistant By Eliza Sullivan
mbg Editorial Assistant
Eliza Sullivan is an Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She has bachelor's degrees in journalism and english literature from Boston University.
Pile of Portable Coffee Cups

Image by Giada Canu / Stocksy

We may be three weeks into 2020, but brands are still announcing new commitments to sustainability for the new decade. The latest to do so? Starbucks.

In a post on their website this morning, the CEO of the coffee giant Kevin Johnson shared with partners, customers, and stakeholders Starbucks' new commitment to sustainability. He highlighted the brand's rapidly approaching 50th anniversary in 2021 as a key component of this new initiative.

"This is an aspiration that we take on, recognizing it will come with challenges and will require transformational change," wrote Johnson. "It will require all of us to play a role, and so we invite you to join us."

Their ultimate aspiration? To become "resource positive," meaning they're working on "storing more carbon than we emit, eliminating waste, and providing more clean freshwater than we use."

Johnson identified five key components of moving into this plan, and the brand elaborated on their plans in a separate post.

In exciting news for fans and adherents to plant-based diets, Starbucks will be adding more plant-based options to their menu and overall will look to move toward eco-friendly menu options. They're already testing oat milk at some locations, so we're excited to see what their turn toward plant-based will look like.

To combat one of the industry's biggest problems, Starbucks also announced a commitment to shift from single-use to reusable packaging. While smaller brands have announced similar moves, this change from a global brand can make a big impact. Both of these goals are in the plans for the coming decade, but we'd love to see Starbucks ramp these goals up for implementation sooner.

Starbucks has been transparent about their efforts for sustainability in the past, and they plan to continue that with these new goals. They call their 2030 goals "preliminary targets," which specifically include a 50% reduction in the brand's carbon emissions, more water conservation efforts, and a 50% decrease in landfill waste, which they plan to do by boosting their commitment to a circular economy.

They're also looking externally at ways to make a difference. Plans are in the works to "invest in innovative and regenerative agricultural practices, reforestation, forest conservation, and water replenishment" while also looking for better ways to manage any waste produced by operations.

Big brands like Starbucks making big commitments is exciting, but it's important to remember that small changes in our daily routines can make a big difference, too (and a reusable coffee cup is a great place to start).

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