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Starbucks Nowhere Near 2010 Energy Reduction Goal

In 2008, Starbucks set an aggressive goal to reduce energy consumption in company-owned stores 25 percent by 2010. Judging by the progress so far, that goal may be unattainable.

Starbucks was able to reduce energy consumption in company-owned stores about 1.7 percent in 2009, leaving a lot of ground to cover in one year. The company says implementation of an LED retrofit in 2010 should help it meet its goal, however.

The average store used 6.8 kilowatt hours per square foot in 2008, and 6.69 kWh per square foot in 2009, according to the firm’s latest corporate responsibility report (PDF).

The company is half the way toward its goal of purchasing renewable energy equivalent to 50 percent of electricity used in company-owned stores, which consume about a billion kWh a year on average.

In 2008, Starbucks purchased 211.3 million kWh of renewable energy. In 2009, the figure went up to 259.5 million kWh, or about 25 percent of the total energy consumed at company stores.

With regard to recycling, the company has front-of-store recycling in just 399 of its 7,529 company-owned stores. The goal is 100 percent compliance by 2015.

To help with the goal, in March the company began sponsoring the Betacup design competition that is looking for a solution to unrecyclable paper coffee cups.

In April, a Starbucks shareholder request to increase recycling was voted down at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders, although 11 percent of shareholders voted in favor, which activists said should get the attention of the coffee house chain.

The company also has room to improve in its goal of serving 25 percent of its beverages in reusable serveware or tumblers by 2015. As of 2009, about 1.5 percent of beverages sold were served in that manner.

Read more about Starbuck’s 2007 and 2008 corporate responsibility reports.

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