4. We've seen some pretty extraordinary Starbucks locations pop up recently, from a converted bank vault in Amsterdam to a Shipping Container Drive through in Washington. You just announced that 75% of your new company-owned stores in 2011 have achieved LEED certification. What are some of the challenges of working with sustainable building practices?
Ben: We joined the U.S. Green Building Council ten years ago, and I chaired the Retail Development Committee of the USGBC for six years. What we worked to do was create a LEED for Retail, originally LEED was written just for owner occupied office buildings, not retail buildings. Through our partnership with developed a LEED for Retail and Commercial Interiors, which is what most of our stores are — in pre-exisitng space. We also helped develop LEED for Retail New Construction, why working with a number of groups to develop LEED for Multi-Building Portfolio Certification. So as you implement the same strategy you don't have to apply the same documentation and administrative burden each time you finish a location.
With 75% of our new stores this year attaining LEED Certification, we probably have the biggest portfolio of any company. It's probably the greatest number of LEED buildings built by a single institution, ever. We're very excited about it.
In existing buildings we still deploy the same sustainable strategies — the lighting, the equipment, the paints, the finishes, the communities tables that are reused tables, the refurbished that we're deploying. They're all strategies that we use, even when the building type may not allow us to get LEED Certification.