[Solution]Starbucks: Ecological Approach

Environmentally, Starbucks has done multiple initiatives to minimise its environmental footprint. Starbucks’s Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) initiative, launched in 2004, was “one of the…

Environmentally, Starbucks has done multiple initiatives to minimise its environmental footprint. Starbucks’s Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) initiative, launched in 2004, was “one of the coffee industry’s first sets of comprehensive sustainability standards, verified by third-party experts” (Starbucks 2015). The result of this initiative is Starbucks managing to ethically source 99% of its coffee by 2015, with the goal to chase the final 1% (Craves 2015).
 
Moreover, as a response to its objective of “pioneering green retail,” Starbucks currently has 750+ LEED-certified stores (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), more than any other retailers in the world. Additionally, Starbucks has nearly achieved its goal of reducing water consumption by 25% by 2015, with already 23% decrease by 2014 (Starbucks 2015). Overall, Starbucks’s CSR approaches have been impacting the environment positively.
 
With that said, there is one aspect that Starbucks could and should improve, re-usable cups. Starbucks identified that is goal regarding re-usable cups is to “serve 5% of beverages made in our stores in personal tumblers by 2015“ (Starbucks 2015), however, this number was reduced from the previous goal of 25% set in 2009 (Aston 2012). Starbucks identified that changing customers’ behaviour to change to re-usable personal tumblers have been difficult, with promotions failing to leave major impact on the customers’ purchasing behaviour (Starbucks 2015). Since the promotion methods to entice customers to use personal tumblers are not effective, Starbucks should instead consider charging for plastic cups, similar to government 5p charge for plastic bags (GOV 2015). This method of charging additional for plastic cups may slowly but surely deter customers from using plastic cups and instead use either personal tumblers or ceramic cups to be used in-store. Economically, it would be hard to believe that a very miniscule increase in price can discourage consumers from continuing to purchase Starbucks’s products. With Starbucks being an industry leader, introducing a policy such as this would encourage other competitors to do the same, hence making it possible to reduce the waste from coffee cups, with “fewer than one in 400 [coffee cups] is being recycled” in the UK (Cocozza 2016).
 
Furthermore, Starbucks should increase its green retail focus to places where it is more needed, meaning focusing on developing LEED-certified stores in its stores in developing countries, since developing countries tend to have “various features that can offer considerable scope for the exercise of CSR,” e.g. environmental……..

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