Starbucks becomes waste-free and climate-positive for its 50th Anniversary

Starbucks becomes waste-free and climate-positive for its 50th Anniversary
Toshio Chan /

Starbucks is turning 50 in 2021 and wants to celebrate that by becoming climate-positive. The American chain is announcing major climate ambitions, such as more plant-based options and no longer using disposable packaging.

The climate is on the wish list

Starbucks is not only committed to becoming climate-neutral, but even climate-positive in the future: the coffee company aims to emit more clean water than it consumes, store more carbon than it emits and stop producing waste. 

This is how the American coffee giant wants to celebrate its fiftieth birthday next year, according to CEO Kevin Johnson, because drastic action is needed for the planet today. More and more trend reports state that the companies that will be the most successful by 2030 will be those that put sustainability first. 


Five major objectives

The company is developing five long-term objectives, including the shift to a more environmentally friendly menu with more plant-based options and the switch to reusable packaging. Starbucks also pledges to invest in sustainable agriculture, reforestation and forest conservation, as well as water replenishment in the company’s supply chain.

The chain also wishes to tackle waste, in order to ultimately eliminate food waste. The company’s own activities are also becoming more environmentally friendly, including its stores, production and deliveries. These ambitions will be spread over several decades, says top executive Johnson.


Halving carbon emissions by 2030

By 2030, Starbucks is already committed to achieving part of its goals to reduce carbon emissions by 50% in the company’s direct operations and supply chain. In addition, the formula with the mermaid logo aims to preserve 50% of the water used and return it to areas where water is scarce.

Waste from shops and factories that ends up in landfill also has to be halved by then. To achieve this, the coffee chain joined the New Plastics Economy of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which is working towards a circular packaging market.

Starbucks clearly states that it can’t go it alone and that it’s looking for partners to join the project. Investors and analysts are therefore already speculating on a cooperation with Beyond Meat: the stock price of the meat substitute producer immediately skyrocketed when the news was announced.