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Starbucks Cuts Monthly Water Use to 24 Gallons Per SF

starbuckswatertableStarbucks has launched its new interactive Global Responsibility annual report with a customizable report feature at the Starbucks Shared website. The latest report shows that the coffee house chain has continued to make progress in meeting its Shared Planet goals for environmental stewardship and ethical sourcing.

In 2008, Starbucks addressed environmentalists’ concerns about its “wasteful” water policy by implementing water conservation methods for its “dipper wells” or sanitizing sinks. Using water-saving technologies has helped the company to reduce water use from 25 gallons per square foot per month in 2007 to 24 gallons per square foot per month in 2008.

Starbucks continues to work towards its goal of buying 100 percent of its coffee that is responsibly grown and ethically traded by 2015. In 2008, 77 percent of Starbuck’s coffee was purchased through Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices and five percent (19 million pounds) of total purchases was Fair Trade Certified. The company’s goal is to double its Fair Trade Certified coffee purchases in 2009.

Key goals set for 2015 include the availability of recycling at all company-owned stores where they control waste collection (now at 70 percent), and purchasing 50 percent of energy from renewable sources (now at 20 percent).

Last year, 70 percent of Starbucks’ stores recycled at least one type of waste where commercial recycling is available. In 2008, the chain launched its Vivanno beverages with a new plastic cup that has less of an environmental impact than the original plastic cups, which is one step towards meeting its goal to have 100 percent of its cups reusable or recyclable by 2015.

Starbucks worked with 3Degrees to buy wind renewable energy certificates for more than 211 million kilowatt hours, equivalent to the electricity used by more than 18,000 U.S. homes, which helped the coffee house chain rank #17 in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest ranking of the Top 50 Green Power Purchasers.

By 2010, Starbucks plans to make its stores 25 percent more efficient to reduce greenhouse gases and have all new company-owned stores worldwide certified green. At the end of 2008, Starbucks had one LEED certified store. In 2009, it also opened a LEED Silver-certified roasting plant in Calhoun County, South Carolina.

In 2008, Starbucks renewed a multi-year partnership with the nonprofit Conservation International to help coffee farmers protect standing forests and restore degraded landscapes surrounding their farms. Starbucks is also a charter member of the Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICIP).

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