Starbucks will develop a new sustainability learning and innovation lab at Hacienda Alsacia, the company’s global agronomy headquarters for R&D in Costa Rica. Beginning this fall, the lab will offer its first slate of educational programming to select Arizona State University (ASU) students and Starbucks employees; the physical lab is expected to open within the next three years.
The Hacienda Alsacia, Starbucks’ first and only company-owned and operated coffee farm, has focused on coffee’s sustainability for more than a decade. Research and development has focused on creating new coffee varieties, testing disease-resistant coffee trees and developing and sharing effective agricultural practices. The sustainability lab will expand the facility’s capabilities and the collaboration needed to cultivate positive social and environmental change beyond coffee.
“This is an opportunity for us to advance Starbucks’ environmental promise to give more than we take and our farmer promise to ensure the future of coffee for all,” said Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of Starbucks in a statement. “We know we cannot do this important work alone, and the possibilities in front of us to scale solutions, partner with thought leaders and serve as a global hub for innovation are limitless.”
Starbucks buys 3% of the world’s highest-quality ethically sourced arabica coffee from more than 400,000 farmers in 30 countries, and its commitments to working alongside communities to become a positive resource company include a pledge to cut its carbon, water and waste footprints in half by 2030.
Starbucks and ASU have a longstanding partnership devoted to building educational and innovative programming. The two organizations recently reached the milestone of graduating more than 10,000 associates through the Starbucks College Achievement Program.