Building Greener Stores

We’re creating more eco-conscious stores on a global scale from the design stage right through to construction and operations

Starbucks Green Building

Starbucks has been a leader for more than a decade in the development and implementation of a scalable green building program for retail companies like ours. We joined the U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC) in 2001 and collaborated with them to develop the LEED® for Retail program, an effort to adapt LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) to new construction and commercial interior strategies for retail businesses. Starbucks later became one of the first retailers to join USGBC’s LEED volume certification pilot program.

In 2008 we challenged ourselves to use LEED certification not just for flagship stores and larger buildings, but for all new, company-operated stores. Many people, even internally, were skeptical, especially with Starbucks growth across the globe. But by collaborating with USGBC and other like-minded organizations, we have been able to integrate green building design not only into new stores but also into our existing store portfolio. We’ve also succeeded in providing a practical certification option for retailers of all sizes.

We’ve come a long way since opening our first LEED-certified store in 2005 in Hillsboro, Oregon. We now have over 750+ LEED-certified stores in 19 countries across all three of our regions—more than any other retailer in the world. Twenty of these stores are in Thailand, including Porto Chino, the first LEED Gold store for Starbucks in all of Asia. This store includes the use of recycled coffee grounds in table tops; low emitting materials for adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings and flooring; over 10% of materials extracted within 500 miles; and over 45% lighting power savings through the use of efficient LED fixtures.

As the first retail company to take this building approach globally, we are continuously learning how to manage the complexities of the program throughout the entire course of building and certification. We have learned that the U.S.-based LEED certification program is still gaining traction, or is still in its infancy, in some international markets. Despite this, we continue to integrate green design into our company-operated international stores, including building two flagship LEED-certified stores in China to help that market identify efficiencies. We are also working with the USGBC to increase adoption of these standards.

Going forward we will continue to explore strategies to bring all of our stores to a sustainable building standard and will continue to ensure that our approach to designing, building, and maintaining our stores is inclusive of a range of environmental goals, including energy and water conservation, renewable energy, and recycling and reducing waste.