How Starbucks CEO plans to tackle climate change

Julia La Roche

Starbucks (SBUX) CEO Kevin Johnson on Tuesday outlined a “multi-decade aspiration” plan for environmental sustainability, which includes a more environmentally friendly menu and reusable packaging. 

The coffee giant is already considered one of Corporate America’s more progressive companies. In a company-wide letter sent on Tuesday, Johnson doubled down on that reputation as he wrote that Starbucks is committed “to become resource positive and give more than we take from the planet.” 

The CEO declared that sustainability “is an aspiration that we take on, recognizing it will come with challenges and will require transformational change. Like most things that are worthwhile, this will not be easy.” 

A woman sits in a Starbucks following a winter snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Some of Johnson’s goals include storing more carbon than the company emits, provide more clean freshwater than it uses, and eliminate waste. 

The action steps also push for expanding plant-based menu options and “migrating toward a more environmentally friendly menu;” moving from single-use to reusable packaging, investing in “innovative and regenerative agricultural practices, and developing more eco-friendly stores at every level.

A consensus is forming among big companies to become more environmentally conscious. Recently, a number of companies, including Microsoft (MSFT), BlackRock (BLK), and Salesforce (CRM) have announced plans around combating climate change.

Johnson noted that “today, more than ever, the world needs leadership in environmental sustainability,” in spite of the challenges that will make the task “far more difficult and costly” for all involved.

Julia La Roche is a Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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