Starbucks Promotes Greater Inclusivity, Pilots Denver-to-Seattle EV Route With Volvo

Starbucks Inclusivity EV

Starbucks is expanding its commitment to become a more inclusive and accessible company with plans to operate 1,000 Starbucks Community Stores globally. The retailer has already developed nearly 150 locations that provide community-relevant programming, economic opportunities and pathways for employees. To reach the 1,000-store mark, Starbucks will open new stores or designate existing locations as Community Stores.

Additionally, Starbucks will promote greater inclusivity for differently abled customers and employees via design and technology offerings including:

  • Speech-to-text technology, a visual display of speech that allows employees and customers greater ease in communication; and
  • Order readiness notifications displayed on a customer order status board for visual updates and order completion confirmations.

“We know that the more we design for inclusion, to be welcoming and to strengthen our communities, the better our business will be and the better the Starbucks experience will be for our partners and customers,” said Katie Young, SVP of Global Growth and Development at Starbucks in a statement. “It inspires and motivates us to make our store and digital environments even more inclusive and accessible at every turn.”

In the U.S., Starbucks will align with the American Human Development Index developed by Measure of America through the Social Science Research Council. The retailer will use these tools to examine ways it can best serve its communities, with the goal of scaling locally relevant programming through 9,000 Starbucks locations around the country.


Multiple Green Initiatives Include Solar and EV Charging Stations

Starbucks also has unveiled additional green initiatives to meet its 2030 planet positive goals. In cooperation with Volvo, the retailer will develop an electric vehicle-friendly driving route featuring charging stations from the Denver area to the company’s Seattle headquarters. Starbucks also has expanded efforts to strengthen the company’s existing commitment to reduce waste by 50% by 2030.  It has increased recycling through its Partner Waste and Recycling App, and Starbucks also plans to expand its solar pilot locations to 55 new stores during 2022.

Developed by the company’s employees, which it refers to as “partners,” the new Starbucks Partner Waste and Recycling App is part of its Greener Stores Innovation Challenge. The guide aids employees as they learn and adapt to store recycling guidelines with store-specific information and notifications, a sorting guide and tools to create store-specific signage. 

“Some of our best innovations, like the Waste and Recycling App, come directly from our store partners,” said Michael Kobori, Chief Sustainability Officer in a statement. “Our store partners know their customers and communities best. When we work together with our partners, we find better solutions to create a more sustainable future for our planet and people.”

With its new Volvo Cars partnership, Starbucks is building on its renewable energy and decarbonization projects with an EV-friendly 1,350-mile route from the Denver area to Seattle that is slated for completion by the end of 2022. The route will feature Volvo-branded EV chargers powered by ChargePoint at 15 Starbucks locations. Additionally, Starbucks is testing reusable cup programs in six global markets, encouraging customers to bring their own cups to U.S. and Canadian Starbucks locations. The retailer is testing Starbucks Borrow-A-Cup and reusable initiatives in the U.S., UK, Japan and Singapore, with additional markets to be added during 2022, and also is considering new offerings such as cup-washing stations.

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