Sustainable Development at Starbucks – Research Paper Example

The paper "Sustainable Development at Starbucks" is an outstanding example of a business research paper. A corporation engages in sustainable development when it conducts its business in a manner that not only enhances its profits but also protects the natural environment at the same time. Some examples of sustainable development include green marketing and improving the quality of life for workers at offshore manufacturing sites. The Starbucks Mission Statement and Guiding Principles as spelled out by the Company reflect its commitment to sustainable business practices that are conducive towards enhancing the quality of life and environmentally productive practices. For example, one of the guiding principles is to “provide a great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity”. Yet another guiding principle states that the Company has a commitment to “contribute positively to our communities and our environment.” In its Annual Report issued at the conclusion of the year 2006, the Company has spelled out certain key performance indicators as metrics to assess how well it is adhering to the principles that have been spelled out under its guiding principles. One of these performance metrics is in terms of developing environmentally sustainable practices in coffee practices at cooperatives in Kenya. These include opening Farmer Support Centres and introducing C.A.F.E. (Coffee and Farmer Equity) practices, working with the African Wildlife Foundation in providing quality coffee training, which has been conducive to improving the quality of life for poor coffee farmers in these regions. Specific measures taken by the Company to introduce environmentally sustainable practices include increasing accountability at store levels for the conservation of water and energy and to ensure recycling and reduction of wastes. Another measure being implemented by the Company is the use of paper cups that contain 10% of PCF (post-consumer fiber) and all the hot beverage cups being used in stores in the United States and Canada have already been converted accordingly. The Company’s key financial indicators for the year 2006 spell out the extent to which the Company has been able to measure up to its targets in terms of actual performances. On the issues of water and electricity usage, the Company has not yet been able to fully achieve the reduced levels of usage that are set out under its targets but is working towards ensuring that these targets are successfully met. It is thus contributing to the reduction of waste and a more efficient utilization of natural resources such as water, in order to promote conservation. In the year 2005, the Starbucks corporation was selected by the World Environment Centre to receive its 21st Annual Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development. (GreenBiz, 2005). This award was given in recognition of environmentally sustainable practices followed by the Company in terms of its coffee production. This further illustrates the levels of success that the Company has enjoyed in terms of actually transforming its objectives into sustainable practices that the Company’s employees adhere to.