Climate Change

In addition to increased erosion and infestation by pests, coffee farmers are reporting shifts in rainfall and harvest patterns that are hurting their communities and shrinking the available usable land in coffee regions around the world.

Addressing climate change is a priority for Starbucks. We believe now is the time to increase our investments in solutions and strategies that address this crisis. The steps we're taking not only address our environmental footprint – they help ensure the supply of high-quality coffee that our customers expect from us into the future.

Our Climate Strategy

Starbucks has been implementing a climate change strategy since 2004, focusing on renewable energy, energy conservation, and climate adaptation and mitigation efforts. We’re also committed to championing progressive climate change policy in partnership with other businesses and organizations.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

To continue to track and quantify our own environmental footprint, we conducted an inventory of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2012. Using the World Resources Institute/WBCSD Greenhouse Gas Protocol, we evaluated the major emissions from our global retail stores and roasting operations. Because more than 80 percent of our GHG emissions are attributable to energy for use in our stores, offices, and roasting plants, we are focusing our efforts on energy conservation and the purchase of renewable energy.

Starbucks Greenhouse Gas Emissions Figures from 2010-2012

Starbucks used the WRI/WBCSD GHG Protocol Corporate Standard to assess our fiscal 2012 greenhouse gas emissions. The 2012 inventory found our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions were 1,032,616 metric tons of carbon dioxide. According to the Protocol, Scope 1 includes direct GHG emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the company. For Starbucks these include coffee roasting plants, store operations, and company-owned vehicles and aircraft. Scope 2 includes indirect GHG emissions from the generation of purchased electricity consumed by the company. While our emissions increased slightly in absolute terms, by 5.4% in part due to overall growth of the company, we succeeded in decreasing emissions per dollar of revenue by 7.3%, per partner by 1.9%, and per store by 0.8%.

Forest Conservation

Climates are changing, especially in the sensitive bioregions where coffee is grown. To better understand the impact to farming communities and our supply chain, we work with Conservation International (CI) and farmers in three unique coffee-producing communities. Together we are working to identify and test effective strategies for improving the sustainability of coffee production processes, the conservation and restoration of natural habitat and opportunities to facilitate farmer access to forest carbon markets or other payment for environmental services. We have learned that each country requires differing models in order to be successful impacting farmers, and we are now working to identify how best to share this information and involve the right organizations that can sustain the positive impact.

2013 Report Update

Farmer Support Goal Chart
To learn more about our work in improving farmers' access to carbon markets read our Global Responsibility Goals & Progress Report.

In Chiapas, Mexico, we engaged more than 260 farmers in 23 communities in 2013 and helped them protect over 620 hectares. We also worked with the state government of Chiapas to establish a set of policies that will make climate change adaptation and mitigation more accessible for farmers.

In Sumatra, Indonesia, we explored the feasibility of a carbon market program with local and regional government organizations laying the groundwork with the government of Aceh Tengah to incorporate these recommendations into its climate and coffee policy. In 2013 the Starbucks Foundation also contributed $10,000 to Conservation International to build a seedling nursery for the farming community in Sidamanik. Starbucks partners, members of CI and local farmers, community leaders and university students and professors all participated in the building of this nursery – demonstrating their dedication and investment in this effort for the future. Once the nursery is fully operational, it will be able to provide more than 10,000 seedlings for 325 coffee farmers, supporting their future farms and growth of their communities.

We expanded the program to the Minas Gerais region in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest in 2012, and have helped distribute 200,000 native tree seedlings each year to farmers in collaboration with other organizations. We are helping farmers gain access to existing government programs that provide cash incentives for forest conservation, preservation and restoration. In 2013 we conducted a field study of coffee producers to better understand the impacts of C.A.F.E. Practices in the region and opportunities for improved productivity, increased income and resilience to climate change.

“Conservation International is very proud to work in collaboration with Starbucks on innovative approaches that enable coffee producers to adapt to the impacts of climate change, improve productivity and enhance farmer livelihoods.”

Vic Arrington, Senior Vice President,
Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, Conservation International

Leadership in Climate Change

Business for Innovative Climate Energy Policy

We are proud to be a founding member of Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), joining with other responsible companies to advocate for stronger climate change and clean energy policy. Learn more

How are Coffee Farms and Climate Change Linked?

Team Chiapas

The Starbucks and Conservation International relationship supports coffee farmers in mitigating the impacts of climate change. Watch a video

Where To Start?

Conservation International has a few ideas on how you can start making a difference for the planet and its people. Do your part