Gallery: INTERVIEW: 8 Questions with Starbucks Global Responsibility VP...


2. This is one of the most ambitious sustainability plans we've seen, with a huge wealth of very specific goals to be attained in a relatively short time frame — by 2015. What enables Starbucks to have the confidence to invest in sustainability to this extent?

Ben: We believe from a values and missions standpoint that this is the role of a business. We aim to not only take care of the employees who work for the company — who we call partners — but to take care of the communities where we source core products like coffee, tea, cocoa. And we aim to take care of the communities we depend on for our retail business by being active and engaged and finding meaningful ways to be engaged with those communities — that's core to nurturing the human spirit, that's always been core to Starbucks missions and it's a very important piece in the culture of Starbucks which has enabled us to be very bold in setting such standards.

I think the most loyal and connected consumers understand this to be part of our values proposition. There's a lot of consumers out there who if they know something about the company they might expect us to have these standards, but I think there's also a very small subset of influential customers who do care about this as a purchase criteria.

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1 Comment

  1. Erik Lindstrom October 28, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    It’s great to see that companies like Starbucks are spending the money to become more sustainable. I wish we would see more companies doing the same thing, but the biggest issue with sustainability and changing consumer behavior is that it’s expensive. Hopefully people begin to see the value in sustainability and take that into more consideration in their lives.

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