Starbucks coffee Earth Day disconnect

Someone asked me yesterday (but it happens all the time), what makes us different?  Well, frankly the list is long and distinguished.  We use a car sharing company called we do source separation on our sites, we use natural gas so as not to import fuel, we do waste audits so you can see the waste you generated and so on.  We do a lot.

But we do more than that.  We’re active in the city, on boards and we do research. For instance, I wrote Starbucks a letter today, and foolishly I hit send before copying and pasting it here, but essentially I said, “Tomorrow is Earth Day, but I don’t see a lot of commitment on your part even though you’re spending money advertising it like crazy these days…” and I went on.  I’m paraphrasing, but I’m not impressed.

starbucks-logoStarbucks has a page on their site called Shared Planet and their goal is to do wonderful things all over the world and all is made better by us drinking Starbucks and everything is candycanes and lollipops ooooo ahhhhhh.  A real coffee utopia.


How come when I go to a Starbucks for a meeting I have to make a special note to tell my barista that this coffee is “for here”?  It strikes me that with the 7 words “Is this for here or to go?” might go an AWFULLY long way towards getting all those people sitting at all of those tables reading all of those free daily newspapers who happen to BE DRINKING OUT OF PAPER CUPS to not do that.  

You have to go to their “Goals” page to see that by 2015 they’d like 25% of their cups used in stores to be reusable.  Well, forgive my direct speech, but I think that’s pretty piss poor.

AND who’s holding them accountable for this one, “Derive 50% of the energy used in our company-owned stores from renewable sources by 2010”  That’s only 8 months away.  Does anyone have any news on how Starbucks is doing on that one?  I’d like to know.  I’ll publish it good or bad.

Does this irritate anyone else?  Seriously, 25% of their cups to be reusable?  That is going to take 6 years to accomplish?  I don’t accept that.  I don’t think you should either.

This is making me mad, and I need to go win some business off of renovators, and that’s hard to do mad but, I’m pretty steamed at these guys for the money they spend on advertising vs. the effort they exert to “make 25% of our cups used in stores reusable”.  It’s sickening.


1 Comment »

  1. Jessica said

    I felt the same way every time I went to Shoppers and they would automatically shove my purchases into a plastic bag without asking whether I wanted one or not. This happens at a lot of places, and it’s most infuriating when you are purchasing one small item that could easily fit in a pocket, like a pack of gum for example. I complained to Shoppers in one of their surveys about the specific location I usually shop at and I have noticed that they have become pretty good about asking now. I find that in the age of instant feedback and PR nightmares sparked by social media tools, companies are quicker to respond to customer demands like these.

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