Besides ecological, Starbucks’s CSR approaches have positively impacted people’s social welfare. For example, Starbucks identified that its C.A.F.E practices have “positively [impacted] millions of workers, and improved the long-term environmental and social conditions on thousands of participating farms around the world” (Starbucks 2015). Additionally, Starbucks provides credits for farmers at reasonable terms. Starbucks’s already invested $16.3miillion in farmer loans with the goal of $20million by 2015.
Starbucks also engages in corporate philanthropy in the form of Starbucks Foundation, where it “gave $13.1 million in 2014, making 144 grants to non-profit organisations. Grants included $3.37 million for Starbucks Youth Leadership Grants and $4.2 million in social development grants in coffee-growing communities” (Starbucks 2015). These donations not only benefit the social welfare, but it also serves as a way to enhance Starbucks’s competitiveness, since the donations may directly impact Starbucks positively in the future. Hence, Starbucks is able to achieve what Porter and Kramer (2002) believe as strategic philanthropy.
Besides donation, Starbucks encourages people to volunteer and join in its community service projects (Starbucks 2016). Starbucks enables people to sign-up online to find and volunteer for community service projects that encompass areas of interests such as arts and culture, environment, education, health, etc. Up to this day, Starbucks’s community services have completed nearly 15,000 projects, with 87,000+ volunteers and 111,000+ hours logged in. This approach enables Starbucks to fulfill the social contract (Donaldson 1982, cited by Garriga and Mele 2004) it has to the society, while also build relationship with its customers through voluntary engagements.
Although Starbucks has done many commendable practices to increase the social welfare of the society, arguably, Starbucks has not increased the social welfare of all its stakeholders. Going back to the national context of CSR (Crane et al. 2014), Starbucks should consider the social welfare of people in developing country. Arguably Starbucks has done this through its C.A.F.E practices, however critics might argue that Starbucks can do much more to increase the social welfare of people in developing/least developed countries. This means that Starbucks should consider engaging in corporate philanthropy that does not solely focus on what benefits it might reap in the future, e.g. similar to Bill and Melinda Gates foundation in Africa (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 2016). Starbucks could, for example, set up donation targeted to tackle health issues or sponsor child education in…..
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