The steps we’re taking to address climate change not only reduce our environmental footprint, they also help ensure the supply of high-quality coffee that our customers expect from us into the future.
Given that our agronomists, quality experts and buyers are on the ground working with coffee farmers every day, we see firsthand and hear directly about the impacts of climate change. In addition to increased erosion and infestation by pests and coffee rust, coffee farmers are reporting shifts in rainfall and harvest patterns that are hurting their communities and shrinking the available usable land in coffee regions around the world.
The potential impact of climate change on farming communities is a key reason addressing our environmental impact is a priority for Starbucks. We believe now is the time to increase our investments in solutions and strategies – both in our stores and at the farm level – that help tackle this crisis.
Our Climate Strategy
Starbucks has been implementing a climate change strategy since 2004, focusing on renewable energy, energy conservation, and climate adaptation and mitigation efforts. In our stores, we have focused on building to LEED® standards while also becoming one of the largest purchasers of renewable energy in our sector. At the farm level, we have worked with Conservation International to include climate-smart agricultural practices as part of Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices, our ethical coffee buying guidelines. We’re also committed to championing progressive climate change policy in partnership with other businesses and organizations. We are proud to be a founding member of Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), joining with other responsible companies to advocate for stronger climate change and clean energy policies. We are also a signatory to RE100, the global corporate commitment to purchasing 100% renewable energy, as well as the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyer’s Principles.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
To continue to track and quantify our own environmental footprint, we conducted an inventory of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in fiscal 2015. Using the World Resources Institute/WBCSD Greenhouse Gas Protocol, we evaluated the major emissions from our global retail stores and manufacturing operations. Because more than 80 percent of our GHG emissions are attributable to energy for use in our stores, offices, and manufacturing plants, we are focusing our efforts on energy conservation and the purchase of renewable energy.
The 2015 inventory found our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions were 1,342,419 metric tons of carbon dioxide. According to the Protocol, Scope 1 includes direct GHG emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the company. For Starbucks these include manufacturing plants, store operations, and company-owned vehicles and aircraft. Scope 2 includes indirect GHG emissions from the generation of purchased electricity consumed by the company. Emissions increased 6.7% through net store growth, and because some of our energy savings have been offset by the growth of our business into new sectors that have altered our environmental footprint in unanticipated ways. For example, the addition of heated food to our menu has required an increase in refrigeration and ovens, offsetting a portion of the gains from our existing energy efficiency measures.