Starbucks believes that it should impact the communities it serves positively and for this reason, it targets four main areas as part of its social responsibility. The first area is ethical sourcing whereby the company ensures the long-term sustainability of its products through ethically and responsibly buying high-quality products. Through this, the company believes it is helping people thrive through the products. Also, this promotes the coffee farmers. For instance, the company says it is committed to making sustainable coffee, to improve over 1 million coffee growers and communities around the world (Starbucks, n.d). By making high-quality coffee, it aims at improving the lives of society because, the higher the quality, the high the health quality.
The second responsibility is strengthening communities through creating avenues for opportunities. In communities where the stores are located and where it grows its coffee, it ensures it creates employment opportunities for communities around especially the youth. The company has extended its commitment to creating a foundation, the ‘Starbucks Foundation” that supports the youth through support programs like training. The training is offered to youths who may have the desire, talent, and resilience to work with Starbucks but cannot because they lack skills. Also, it partners with people in the communities who have the desire to positively impact society. It provides them with resources to effectively make a change. For instance, people who may want to train the society on certain skills but do not have resources such as money.
The company also supports the military veterans and their families by hiring them as Starbucks leaders. It believes that their leadership, operational experience, and discipline needs to be recognized. Furthermore, Starbucks has partnered with Arizona State University to offer scholarships to students pursuing bachelor’s degrees. The initiative is called the ‘Starbucks Achievement Plan” and it supports the students by covering their tuition fees. Additionally, Starbucks has partnered with RED to create healthy communities around the world by investing in the health sector. Lastly, through its Social Global Impact Program, Starbucks takes responsibility for promoting a clean and healthy environment. In the next decade, the company aspires to halve its carbon emission, waste, and water impact. Also, shifting to reusable packaging, reforestation practices, and generally, doing more eco-friendly activities.
The company has chosen these areas because they form the most basic responsibilities an organization can do that have the most impact on the people it serves. The areas are likely to have a great positive impact because they focus on the most critical areas of survival. For instance, promoting health by partnering with RED may make many people acquire good health which is a critical thing for life. Also offering educational scholarships, and employment helps people acquire basic needs such as food, and shelter, which are vital for sustainability. Additionally, sustaining the environment is also a critical area in life. A clean and environment free of chemicals minimize health problems. The areas that Starbucks has focused on are all vital for the sustainability of human, which is the goal of its social corporate responsibility.
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Additionally, Starbucks has focused on such areas following its goal as a company. One of its states that the company is dedicated to sharing great coffee, and making the world a little better for everyone. Furthermore, besides, coffee, there is more to offer. To make the world a little better means going beyond business and investing in all other aspects of life as the company does. Education, employment, health, culture, and the environment are all vital aspects of life that make the world better. Therefore, Starbucks has to focus on these areas to achieve its goal.
Secondly, it has focused in the areas because Starbucks understands that it is through people that it can gain a good public image, and achieve productivity and quality. Therefore, it focuses mainly on activities that promote people’s lives, and in return, those people promote the business. The more it participates in the social circle of the communities, the more those communities think of its good, thus earning a good name and image. Consequently, it gains publicity, and at the same time gain more customers, hence, high productivity and quality. In the end, the company makes more profits as a result of social responsibility.
Starbucks’ social responsibility is different from other coffee restaurants’ in that it has more responsibilities on touching the lives of the communities around. Other coffee restaurants have fewer responsibilities towards society. Most of them focus on the environment, donations, and culture. For instance, café coffee day only focuses on those three areas (Café coffee day, 2017). Another company is Café Nero; its social responsibility centers on its ethics. To serve the communities better, the company believes in making its products sustainable. For this reason, it works directly with farmers just like Starbucks (Café Nero, n.d). However, it differs from Starbucks because that is the only social responsibility it considers. Starbucks on the other hand has more as explained above.
Another coffee restaurant that only focuses on the environment and sustainable coffee is the Coffee Republic. On its website, the company is committed to developing a sustainable and clean environment by reducing its impact. Its responsibility mainly focuses on sustainable farming, suppliers and supply chain, and the environment (Coffee Republic, n.d). It does not consider the wellbeing of the communities around by other social responsibilities apart from sustainable environment and products. Like many other coffee restaurants, it is different from Starbucks.
About employment opportunities, many of the coffee restaurants focus on already trained personnel, unlike Starbucks. Starbucks is committed to offering training to communities especially the youth. The training centers on learning more about various tasks such as coffee farming that aims at employing the trained and helping the company produce coffee. According to the company, there are thousands of youths who have the desire, talent, and resilience to work, but are disconnected from institutions and organizations that can help them. For this reason, it offers them career and educational opportunities and later hires them at its various restaurants. This is so different from other coffee restaurants; they mainly hire people who are already qualified through applications.
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Cafe coffee day. (2017, April 19). Know more about governance – Corporate social responsibily. Retrieved from https://www.cafecoffeeday.com/governance/csr
Cafe Nero. (n.d.). Our ethics. Retrieved from https://caffenero.com/us/about-us/our-ethics/
Coffee Republic. (n.d.). Environmental & sustainability policy – Coffee Republic. Retrieved from https://coffeerepublic.co.uk/about-coffee-republic/environmental-sustainability-policy/
Starbucks. (n.d.). Starbucks ethical sourcing | Sustainable products. Retrieved from https://www.starbucks.com/responsibility/sourcing