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Starbucks Geek Impulse

Starbucks is an international chain of restaurants that retails handcrafted coffee, tea, and fresh food items.


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Starbucks is an international chain of restaurants that retails handcrafted coffee, tea, and fresh food items. With 23,132 stores in 65 countries and territories, Starbucks locations serve hot and cold drinks, whole-bean coffee, microground instant coffee, espresso, caffe latte, full-leaf teas, evolution fresh juices, pastries, and snacks. Most stores also sell pre-packaged food items, hot and cold sandwiches, and items such as mugs and tumblers. The stores also offer a variety of beers, wines, and appetizers, and markets books, music, and film. Some of the company’s products are seasonal or specific to the locality of the store. Starbucks-brand coffee, ice cream, and bottled cold coffee drinks are also sold at grocery stores.

Starbucks was founded by Orin Smith in October 1971 and is based in Seattle, Washington.


Greener Stores Initiative

The company is creating more eco-conscious stores on a global scale from the design stage right through to construction and operations. Starbucks has been a leader for more than a decade in the development and implementation of a scalable green building program for retail companies like ours. We joined the U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC) in 2001 and collaborated with them to develop the LEED® for Retail program, an effort to adapt LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) to new construction and commercial interior strategies for retail businesses. Starbucks later became one of the first retailers to join USGBC’s LEED volume certification pilot program.


In 2008 they challenged themselves to use LEED certification not just for flagship stores and larger buildings, but for all new, company-operated stores. Many people, even internally, were skeptical, especially with Starbucks growth across the globe. But by collaborating with USGBC and other like-minded organizations, we have been able to integrate green building design not only into new stores but also into our existing store portfolio. We’ve also succeeded in providing a practical certification option for retailers of all sizes.


They come a long way since opening our first LEED-certified store in 2005 in Hillsboro, Oregon. The company now has over 1000+ LEED®-certified stores in 20 countries across all three of our regions—more than any other retailer in the world. This store includes the use of recycled coffee grounds in table tops; low emitting materials for adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings and flooring; over 10% of materials extracted within 500 miles; and over 45% lighting power savings through the use of efficient LED fixtures. In 2014, we received LEED® Platinum certification for Starbucks -Reserve Roastery and Tasting room in Seattle.


As the first retail company to take this building approach globally, we are continuously learning how to manage the complexities of the program throughout the entire course of building and certification. We have learned that the U.S.-based LEED certification program is still gaining traction, or is still in its infancy, in some international markets. Despite this, we continue to integrate green design into our company-operated international stores, including building two flagship LEED-certified stores in China to help that market identify efficiencies. We are also working with the USGBC to increase adoption of these standards.


Going forward they will continue to explore strategies to bring all of our stores to a sustainable building standard and will continue to ensure that our approach to designing, building, and maintaining our stores is inclusive of a range of environmental goals, including energy and water conservation, renewable energy, and recycling and reducing waste.


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