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2005 Corporate Social Responsibility Annual Report


Starstrucks Coffee Chain Starbucks is being taken head-on by Starstrucks Coffee


Starbucks Coffee Company; love it, hate it, or just don’t are about it. No matter one’s opinion on the company chances are that it will outlast most of us. How do we  respond to a corporate giant that is daily causing the demise of many family owned diners around the country? While claiming to be conscious of the environment they are going through thousands of tons of paper products every week. What should we do to combat this Medusa of the coffee world?

Meet me at Starbucks and we’ll talk about it over a cup of coffee. I love their coffee and their restaurant and try to visit 3-4 times a week. Why some may ask, have you given in and welcome the enemy with open arms? No other reason than I love coffee and anyone who makes a good cup. Show me or tell me of a better place to get coffee and by all means I will welcome that establishment with open arms. I welcome your suggestions and encourage them.


I love coffee too. However I'm not a Starbucks patron. Not for any ethical or moral reason, I'm just too cheap and I brew at home. But I did want to add something to your environmental concern. I may be wrong since I don't go there, but don't they allow, or even encourage, customers to bring their own mugs? I just think when it comes to wasting products, paper in particular, the consumer should carry most of the responsibility. I'm actually in favor of the mom and pop places myself, but wouldn't the larger corporations have more means to be green?. Starbucks in particular uses their own coffee and can control the production end of their business. On the other hand, the small places rely on outside manufacturers for their products, and those companies might be the most environmentally "unfriendly" ones out there. In fact they probably are because they would be the cheapest. In my experience (actually I don't have a lot) restaurant owners, successful ones inparticular, tend to be cheap. They have to be, there is just too much competition. As far as where else to get a good cup of coffee, I can't help you there, I stick to my own, and it's barely drinkable:) John S.



Hello. My name is Danielle and I am a Starbucks addict. They do, in fact, encourage bringing your own mugs (I do!) AND.. if memory serves me correctly.. I'll research and get back to you for sure, but Starbucks only buys their coffee beans from companies that pay the farmers above minimum wage. You may not think of the impact of this.. but if you think of how much money Starbucks can pump into a business.. it's incentive to be fair.


Branding mechanisms extend beyond being "green." What about companies that simply "do the right thing" as a way of improving PR? Ben & Jerry's has a brownie ice cream, and it purchases the brownies from inner-city bakeries, which pumps money into those neighborhoods (communities? areas?). I think there isn't enough recognition given to huge corporations.. Yes, I am all for mom and pop stores.. but if you think about it.. REALLY think about it.. Those huge corporations employ a GINORMOUS amount of people. Hats off to big corporations for keeping our economy trucking along, and our citizens employed.


I think companies market being "green" because the term rouses consumer interest. These companies are trying to impress you, "the consumer." We do not know the exact reason why companies are practice more environment-friendly business. We need to give them a chance to do so. Why judge those companies? The ends-means should be the focus. They have to live on this planet as well as we do. If they are doing something to help or even attempting or planning or encouraging that people help protect our enviroment isnt that enouph. Their are companies that are not doing anything to help anybody but themselves. I think we should appreciate all those who try to help their communities. People are always going to try to bash the top dog and bring that person down. You have to ask yourself that if you were running a major company wouldnt you want to push to grow or would you want to stay at a mediocre size so that you dont get ridiculed? Companies that are just starting to help I think that we should give them that chance. http://www.allaboutbranding.com/ I think this is the begining of a better world, were big companies realize that consumer perception is important. I would bet my last penny that Starbucks has someone in their organization working on a biodegradeable cup. -Afram Malaki malkdawg@aol.com



Organic Foods

Although I am a fairly new customer, I have learned of their positive contributions in the past. First, Starbucks is one of the many emerging companies that attempts to operate using corporate social responsibility. One obvious example of their CSR is their move towards more environmentally-friendly packaging for their products. For instance, I am looking at their large (venti) coffee cup which is composed of 10% post-consumer fiber. Although it is not 100% recycled, it is a start. It is likely that they could purchase much cheaper cups made of less environmentally friendly materials (such as Styrofoam), but at least they are making an effort. In addition, the sleeve for their coffee cups is made of 60% post-consumer fiber (even better). Even such small uses of post-consumer materials could be a big plus if other companies such as McDonald's used similar materials for their coffee cups. Starbucks provides a more detailed look at their commitment to corporate social responsibility on their website: Corporate Social Responsibility The “green movement” can serve as a marketing ploy and also as an example to other corporations. Yes, such “green” efforts do promote the company’s image. However, it is positive attention.


More and more people like purchasing products that are seen as eco-friendly. Such strategic moves are not only seen in Starbucks. One example is BP, British Petroleum, which has changed its meaning of BP to “Beyond Petroleum.” The new leadership in the corporation realizes that petroleum is providing profits in the short-run, but such non-renewable resources have limited existence. The corporation has been contributing millions of dollars to alternative energy research. The corporation hopes to one day leave petroleum behind for an environmentally-friendly energy source. However, it is not possible for corporations to just “jump-in” and grasp a new technology. It takes several years to research, develop, test, market, and institute new technologies. Another example of a company that supports the “green movement” is Ben and Jerry’s, which actually has its roots in corporate social responsibility. The company supports farmers in Vermont by solely using their cows for milk production. Also, the company donates much of its profits to environmental preservation campaigns, fundraisers, and the like.


In addition to showing corporate social responsibility, Starbucks also strives to be a great overall place to work. The organizational culture is tightly-knit, and workers enjoy the many perks provided by their corporation, such as advancement opportunities and flexibility. The organizational culture also supports and encourages volunteer work. While yes they are a capitalistic venture, at least they are doing something (even if it is not great at the time) to promote the “green movement,” corporate social responsibility, and organizational culture. When other companies see the results experienced by companies such as Starbucks, BP, and Ben and Jerry’s, they often imitate behavior.


A pristine example is hybrid automobiles: at first, Toyota was the main provider of hybrid cars in the United States. The demand for such vehicles is evident in their sales, causing companies such as Ford and General Motors to introduce and mass-produce similar automobiles. Finally, many people may have negative views towards Starbucks for various reasons, but the fact is that they are supplying the demand. If consumers did not demand their product, then they would not be in business. If they were not in the industry, many people would be without a job in various parts of the business, including sales reps, distributors, franchise owners, employees, managers, farmers and so on. I have gathered some of the things that I feel make Starbucks a relatively good corporation, or at least not as bad as it is made out to be: ProStarbucks



-Robert Woods


I don't think there is any question that coffee from Starbucks is at a premium. I am saying at least they are making some efforts to be socially responsible as far as the environment goes. What is the difference between spending more for a coffee at Starbucks (once in a blue moon or every day) than spending more for a cheeseburger from Chili's instead of going to McDonald's? Is Chili's overtaking the world too because people have a preference for it? I see more Chili's and Applebees in town than Starbucks. They technically sell stuff that resembles other stuff that could be be bought for more or less elsewhere. It does not make one person better or worse than the next person because of their freedom of choice. I doesn't matter to me if Steak n' Shake is selling a $4.00 cheeseburger that could be bought on the $0.99 menu at McDonald's. I do not like McDOnald's and would splurge the extra money to get Steak n' Shake, or not eat at all. Basically, I do not care what or how much someone paid for their coffee as long as A.) they did not steal money from me to buy it B.) they like drinking it C.) they do not spill it on me when it is hot and D.) they drink Starbucks knowing that is was their choice and that Starbucks is not a monopoly because you can brew it at home, buy it at the store, buy it at the gas station, poor a cup at work, go to a diner, stop at the mall kiosk, bum a cup, go to Barney's , and so on.


Starbucks IM



I went grocery shopping this afternoon with every intention of buying some starbucks coffee to brew at home. I couldn't do it. A 12 oz bag cost around $10, it was the highest priced coffee there. I stood in the coffee isle for a while trying to justify it. I just couldn't do it. I bought Maxwell house instead because it was buy 1 get 1 free and only ended up paying $3 for 22 oz, that will last me about a month. Thats a monthly savings of roughly $15. Yearly I'm saving $180. (This doesn't even compare to the savings of buying a $4 latte every morning.) So on a socio-economic level, is it better to pay more to a relatively good corporation or spend the savings elsewhere or donate it directly to a good charity? -John Siewert








I think you've identified the point at which coffee has transformed from a drug into a status symbol. You use it because it has beneficial properties, or maybe you just enjoy it -- either way, it is a necessary consumable good, which you consume on a regular basis -- therefore, it makes sense that you would want to obtain it as cheaply as possible and that you would acquire a surplus so that it lasts for several days. Some people justify paying higher prices for allegedly higher quality, but I argue that their minds trick them into believing that the quality is higher because they have paid more for it. Otherwise, aren't they just paying more to show that they can pay more? It is financial irresponsibility or is it an attempt to prove self-worth through needless consumption?


I'm going to lay down some Chemistry 2 right here.


1 cup of coffee = 8 ounces of liquid = 1 heaping tablespoon of coffee grounds

12 lqoz cup of Starbucks = $1.70 (? Please correct me.)


6 heaping tablespoons of coffee grounds ~= 0.0625 oz of coffee grounds* => 1 heaping tablespoons = 0.0104 oz = 8 lqoz of coffee / 12 lqoz of Starbucks = 0.0156 oz of Starbucks coffee grounds for $1.70 = $108.97 per ounce of coffee


*My own measurement

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