Water is a precious natural resource. Using it responsibly is essential to our company.
Water Conservation Goals and Progress
Goal: Reduce Water consumption by 25% in our company-owned stores by 2015.
Progress: Water consumption decreased slightly in 2012, bringing us to a total decrease of 17.7% since 2008.
To learn more about our work in reducing water consumption read our Global Responsibility Goals & Progress Report.
Water is a key ingredient in our beverages and a necessity for operating our stores. We’ve identified a number of opportunities to use this precious resource more wisely and have spent the last few years testing and validating these solutions.
In 2008 we set a goal to reduce water consumption by 25 percent in company-owned stores by 2015. Over the past four years, we have cut water consumption by 17.7% through several measures, including the use of efficient fixtures, actively seeking out and repairing stores with leaks and the elimination of a continuously running faucet that rinsed our utensils.
In 2011 we began implementing an improved process for enhancing the quality and consistency of our handcrafted beverages. While these changes required more water, we were able to maintain the water conservation gains we had made over the past four years by deploying new, more efficient water filtration systems in our stores. By the second half of 2012, we began to see significant gains from this new technology, and we expect that we’ll continue to track toward our 2015 goal.
What We've Been Doing
Customers and partners (Starbucks employees) often tell us about how great our water tastes. Water taste and quality is critical for providing consistently amazing beverages. In 2011, we launched a new water filtration system that provides the same superb water quality and reduces waste water by over 50% compared to the system we used formerly. During 2012 we upgraded the filtration systems in over 1,000 stores. In 2013 we’re planning to perform an additional 670 upgrades.
Managing water that can be seen “going down the drain” provides one set of challenges, but much of our water footprint happens behind the scenes. Leaks can develop below floors, outside in sprinkler systems, even in toilets.
To combat these invisible foes, the Starbucks Energy and Resource Management team uses advanced analytics to identify stores that are using inordinate amounts of water. Facilities experts visit these stores to diagnose and rectify anomalies. This practice has mitigated millions of gallons in excessive water use over the past two years and has evolved into a robust program that provides rapid response to suspected water leaks.
What We’ll Do Next
The last two years have been focused on assessing, testing and developing new ways to save water in our stores. The next few years will bring a flurry of activity to get those solutions in place to help us achieve our goal by 2015.
In new stores we’re installing efficient water fixtures like low-flow faucets, toilets and spray heads for rinsing dishes. In existing stores, we’ve been adding low-flow faucet aerators and replacing inefficient fixtures.
We also look for ways to save water outside new stores, landscaping with drought-resistant native species where we can to reduce the need for irrigation.
Moving forward, we’ll continue to look for innovative ways to minimize water use in our stores around the world. That way, we can meet – and hopefully exceed – our 2015 goal.