An open letter on suggesting Starbucks fulfill its responsibility for environmental protection
2019/7/9 17:22:00 本站

Introduction: 13 organizations wrote a joint letter recommending that reducing disposable paper cups and tableware, respecting green consumption rights, enhancing employees'awareness of environmental protection, and exploring deposit system


Dear Ms. Wang Jingying, board chairman and CEO of Starbucks (China),


Hello! Entering the era of ecological civilization, strengthening environmental protection and fulfilling social responsibility is an important mission for enterprises to achieve sustainable development. The ecological civilization has put forward new requirements for the mode of production. The industrialization has created unprecedented material wealth and irreparable ecological disaster. The development mode of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, draining the pond to catch the fish has come to an end, and the green development conforming to nature and protecting ecology that shows the future.


Starbucks is a chain enterprise with more than 3800 stores in 165 cities in China. Whether environmental responsibility is fulfilled properly or not has an important impact on China's environmental protection and ecological civilization construction. We have long observed some problems and phenomena that are contrary to environmental protection in your stores. We are now putting forward the following suggestions to your group. Please pay attention to them in your busy schedule. We are willing to assist your group to work together to protect the ecological environment.


1. Respect consumers' green consumption rights. When consumers order coffee, it is recommended that your employees first ask customers whether they want to use disposable paper cups or reusable porcelain cups. This should be clearly included in your company's workflow as a hard and fast rule. For a long time, we have noticed that in Starbucks stores all over the country, even if customers are drinking in the store, your company defaults to the use of disposable cups. Behind the disposable paper, the cup is the cost of ecological environment resources in the production process, the crisis of biodiversity and climate change caused by deforestation, and the environmental pollution and resource waste caused by waste disposal. As long as the process of enterprise operation is regulated accordingly, these wastes and pollution can be greatly reduced.


2. Encourage consumers to choose reusable containers. Consumers who choose to use in-store porcelain cups are advised to give some price incentives to reflect fairness. It is recommended that customers who choose not to use disposable paper cups and drink coffee in the shop are charged “less than 1 yuan”.


3. It is suggested that stores should place the sign of "bring your own cup minus 4 yuan" in a prominent position in the store. Is there a reminder at the cashier's desk? If not, consumers can be encouraged to report to the head office. We have noticed that although your company has established such a commendable mechanism, many stores have not put it on the checkout counter so that many consumers failed to be aware of this kind mechanism.


4. Strengthen the training of environmental protection awareness of company employees. It is suggested that it be held quarterly. If necessary, we are willing to provide free services for your company.


5. It is suggested to reduce the use of disposable plastic pipettes, knives, forks and other tableware. In addition, we have noticed that some of your stores have taken the lead in experimenting with direct drink cup and paper pipettes and stopped supplying plastic pipettes. While expressing our appreciation for this, we also hope that you will notice that disposable plastic or paper pipettes are disposable and difficult to recycle. Therefore, it is suggested to encourage the store to display signs encouraging "consumers to reduce the use of straws".


6. It is suggested to explore the deposit system. Your company has many stores and large turnover. It is recommended to design portable coffee cups which are easy to clean and encourage customers to rent them.


7. We applaud Starbucks for being among the first coffee shop chains to provide plant-based alternatives to cow milk, which as we all know is heavy on carbon footprints and very often problematic in farm animal ethics.  In that sense, Starbucks is a true leader in good food practices.  However, despite the fact that public awareness about healthy, sustainable and ethical consumption keeps rising, the business giant has fallen behind in providing good food options in store.  By far, none of the Starbucks outlets in mainland China carries a single food item that is 100% plant-based, a practice that can be fairly easily implemented and has been adopted by many businesses who are far less successful than Starbucks.  The science about the future of our food and humanity is clear, and it is high time that all businesses take serious actions towards moving plant-forward in their operations.  We hereby urge Starbucks to act quickly and responsibly to this trend and consumer demands and significantly increases its supplies of plant-based options in all its operations.


Article 6 of the Environmental Protection Law of the People's Republic of China clearly stipulates that "all units and individuals have the obligation to protect the environment", "enterprises, institutions, other producers and business operators shall prevent and reduce environmental pollution and ecological damage, and shall be liable for the responsibility according to law". Actively assuming social responsibility for environmental protection cannot only effectively reduce waste and pollution but also effectively enhance your company's brand image and win the respect of the public; at the same time, it is also conducive to the healthy and stable development of business in China. We are willing to assist your company to become more environmentally friendly. At the same time, we will work with the public to supervise your company, including various forms of public supervision on garbage in your stores, garbage classification, and respect for consumers' green consumption rights. Looking forward to your company's efforts, let's make the future better!


The above suggestions are sincerely awaited for attention and kind reply.


Jointly signed by:


China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation


Bichumei Environment Science Studio


Shenzhen Zero Waste Environmental Protection Public Welfare Development Center


Friends of Nature Parent-Child Group- Action Group on Plastic Reduction


The Green Volunteer League of Chongqing


Qingpu Public Welfare Center, Zhenhai District, Ningbo City


Beijing Multiple Intelligences Institute


Beijing Grassland Alliance Public Welfare Center


Hangzhou Xiacheng District Ailu Environmental Development Center


Break Free from Plastic Action




Panjin Wetlands Conservation Association


The British School of Beijing



July 7, 2019


Original Chinese article:

By / Li Xue