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Starbucks to form new ESG oversight committee

The Environmental, Partner and Community Impact committee will drive accountability across Starbucks’ supply chain and add new transparency to its employee relationships

Winding down disposable cup use and the Greener Stores initiative are key to achieving Starbucks’ ambitious 2030 sustainability target | Photo credit: Starbucks


Starbucks has announced plans to create a new Environmental, Partner and Community Impact (EPCI) Board Committee, to improve transparency and accountability for its environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives. 

The EPCI Committee will assist Starbucks’ Board of Directors in responding to shifting regulations and standards compliance while overseeing internal and external reporting tools and assessments. This includes Starbucks’ annual Global Environment and Social Impact Report (GESI), which details progress across ESG initiatives. 

The committee will be led by Beth Ford, currently a Starbucks Board Member and CEO of US agricultural cooperative Land O’Lakes. 

“Over the past year, we have been singularly focused on ensuring that we are well positioned for mutual success with all of our stakeholders. Living our new mission and upholding our new set of promises and values every day is paramount to achieving this mutual success. This committee will keep us accountable and push us forward,” said Laxman Narasimhan, CEO, Starbucks. 

Starbucks currently operates more than 38,000 outlets across 86 markets globally – employing 381,000 staff. In November 2023, Starbucks announced plans to double the hourly income of its US store staff by the end of 2025, when compared to 2020 levels. 

The plans to establish the EPCI Committee comes as the Seattle-based coffee chain seeks to balance ambitious sustainability targets with rapid growth, including plans to open a further 17,000 outlets globally to reach 55,000 stores by 2030

In January 2020, then CEO Kevin Johnson unveiled plans for Starbucks to become ‘resource positive’ by 2030, including a 50% reduction across carbon emissions from direct operations and supply chains, water consumption, and waste sent to landfill. 

Winding down disposable cup use and the Greener Stores initiative, which involves building or renovating outlets for greater energy and water efficiency, are key to achieving the ambitious 2030 target. Starbucks had certified 3,508 Greener Stores globally across 20 markets, as of April 2023, and has a goal of certifying 10,000 Greener Stores around the world by 2025.   

In March 2023 Starbucks unveiled a $25m investment to support a 50% reduction in water withdrawal from direct operations stores, packaging and agricultural supply chain by 2030. A further $10m circular economy investment to reduce landfill waste was also announced.  

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