Starbucks launches “Greener Store” out of North America, the first location in Shanghai

On the occasion of Starbucks' 50th anniversary, the coffee giant will open a Greener Store in Shanghai, aiming to achieve the theme of "circulation" through a special design and construction plan. The specific time has not been announced on the official website.

As the name suggests, Greener Store is a platform for Starbucks to practice environmental protection concepts. Starbucks has more than 2,300 Greener Stores in the United States and Canada, and plans to establish and renovate 10,000 Greener Stores worldwide by 2025. The Greener Store in Shanghai will be the first outside North America .

▲ Exterior renderings of the store. Picture from: Starbucks official website

Half of the materials used to build the interior of the Shanghai Greener Store are recycled, including wood, stairs and door handles from other stores in Shanghai.

In the future, in this store, recycling and environmental protection will be realized everywhere: recyclable coffee cups will replace paper cups, and customers will enjoy discounts on their own cups; all coffee grounds will be recycled or composted; digital receipts will replace paper receipts, menus, etc. Paper objects will also be digitized; the barista’s apron is made of recycled PET cups; the internal modular bar can be disassembled, moved or rebuilt.

Shanghai Greener Store will also provide as many plant-based products as possible on the menu, and oat milk will be the default option.

▲ Interior renderings of the store. Picture from: Starbucks official website

The water-saving and energy-saving design that has been successfully implemented in the North American Greener Store will also be realized here. According to statistics, compared with ordinary stores in North America, Greener Store saves more than 1.3 billion gallons of water each year and reduces energy consumption by 30% , which is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of more than 30,000 households.

This also proves from the side that the environmental burden caused by Starbucks is very large. According to official data in 2018, Starbucks emits about 16 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, uses 1 billion cubic meters of water, and produces 868 thousand tons of waste.


Rethinking store design is part of Starbucks’ Greener Store Framework.

The Greener Store Framework is an environmental protection plan jointly developed by Starbucks and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 2018, and is audited and verified by SCS Global Services. By 2030, Starbucks promises to reduce carbon emissions, water use and landfill by 50%, and is committed to achieving the goal of "planet positive".

The environmental protection concept store in Shanghai is a test of whether the Greener Store Framework can be promoted. In the next year, Starbucks will continue to expand this environmental protection framework, opening Greener Stores in Japan, the United Kingdom and Chile.

▲ Interior renderings of the store. Picture from: Starbucks official website

The Greener Store Framework is open source, so that others in the retail industry can better understand and participate in sustainability issues. Starbucks Chief Sustainability Officer Michael Cobry once said:

The crisis on the planet is affecting our customers, our partners, and coffee farmers all over the world. Therefore, simply reducing our own environmental footprint is not enough. Our long-term vision is that this situation must be reversed.

On a more commercial level, the Greener Store Framework saves more costs while reducing environmental impact, and is expected to save the company US$50 million in utility costs in the next 10 years.

▲ Greener Store Framework. Picture from: Starbucks official website

The germination of Greener Store began more than 10 years ago. In 2001, Starbucks cooperated with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to develop the LEED retail industry project and opened the first LEED certified store in 2005. LEED was created by the U.S. Green Building Council and is the most widely recognized green building rating system in the world. Today, Starbucks has more than 1,600 stores that meet the certification.

In December 2019, Starbucks Premium Shanghai Bakery obtained LEED platinum certification , becoming the first store in the mainland catering industry to obtain this certification.

▲ LEED certification level. Picture from: Interface News

According to Starbucks official website, Starbucks focuses on the sustainability of all aspects of its business:

In 2018, Starbucks designed and manufactured a strawless lid; in 2019, Starbucks sponsored the NextGen Cup Challenge to encourage recyclable and compostable cup designs; Starbucks donated eligible unsold food to give back to the community through Starbucks® FoodShare and many more.

▲ Picture from: Starbucks official website

In addition, Starbucks' environmental protection efforts also extend to the supply chain. This summer, Starbucks installed a 1-megawatt solar panel in Carson Valley, and the generated solar energy will provide nearly one-third of baking factories and distribution centers with electricity for a year.

▲ Carson Valley solar panels. Picture from: Starbucks official website

Starbucks Chief Sustainability Officer Michael Cobry described their solar panels this way:

At the Carson Valley Bakery, we saw one cycle after another. Starbucks coffee is grown and roasted by the sun.

2030 is the deadline for many companies' environmental protection goals, which is in line with the goal set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)-in 2030, the global net anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by about 45%. When Starbucks decided to reduce its environmental footprint by 50% before then, IKEA also planned to become a fully recycling zero waste company in the same year.

Grapes are not the only fruit.

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