Starbucks is a quintessential example of a company that is both doing well and doing good. Roughly 10.5 million people consume Starbucks coffee in a given day and I am one of them! I decided to do some research on their business practices since I interact with the brand so often.
I began by learning Starbucks’ mission statement: “Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” Starbucks prominently boasts a “responsibility” page on their website. Their efforts can be categorized into environmental, sourcing, and community efforts. Additionally they release an annual Global Responsibility Report that focuses goals and progress. To supplement my research I read an interview with the Vice President of Global Responsibility, Ben Packard.
Starbucks has made environmental strides in their new store locations. All new, company-owned locations are required to be at least silver LEED certified. They focus on using recycled materials and they are striving to reduce their use of paper cups in general. Packard shares that 20% of coffee is consumed in house so they’re trying to capitalize on this opportunity to use ceramic mugs.
In regards to sourcing, Starbucks has vowed to have 100% of their coffee ethically sourced by 2015. Currently, 95% of their coffee is ethically sourced. They ensure and define ethical sourcing by strict standards, investing in the community and philanthropy efforts.
Lastly, Starbucks is committed to the communities in which they serve. They refer to employees as partners and show their dedication to them with stipends for college education, equity-based compensation, and generous 401K plans. Personally, I believe that one of the greatest things Starbucks provides is a customer experience that facilitates interactions, innovation, and creativity. I recently read Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson and he discusses the “Liquid Network.” This theory suggests that ideas are fluid networks that need to be nurtured and inspired by interactions and experiences. Environments, like Starbucks, promote collaboration and inspiration which facilitates the generation of new ideas.