Starbucks’ recent change in its reward system didn’t sit well with a lot of consumers.
But before we decide to write Starbucks off as a corporate chain focused solely on turning a profit, it’s important that we consider more recent decisions. On Tuesday, Starbucks announced FoodShare, a program to start donating all of its leftover food to those in need through partnerships with nonprofits Food Donation Connection and Feeding America.
According to a 2014 estimate by the United States Department of Agriculture, U.S. supermarkets and grocery stores throw out roughly $46.7 billion in food. It’s easy to get riled up about this, considering the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who go to bed hungry each day. While several companies in the food industry have been making efforts to cut down on their wastefulness, France passed a bill last year that made it illegal for its grocery stores to dispose of unsold food. At the time of the bill’s unanimous passing, the country was caught up in an economic recession, as the number of people living close to and below the poverty line was increasing.
An increasing number of franchises, including Chipotle, Olive Garden and the Cheesecake Factory, are choosing to give their unsold food to charity. Starbucks is joining the movement and going the extra mile to ensure that the company’s food waste is minimal. The program will round up perishable food, including sandwiches and salads, in refrigerated vans to secure the edibility of the food. Its pledge to distribute unused merchandise to food banks is in line with the government’s goal to cut food waste in half by 2030.
Starbucks’ decision to be more socially responsible further strengthens the company’s Triple Bottom Line thinking that combines people, planet and profit.
The impact of the organization on the world through its profitability and shareholder values is already visible. It also has several environmental friendly programs directed toward recycling, water and energy conservation. Certainly, FoodShare serves as an advantage for upholding Starbucks’ image as a socially conscious food chain, and there is no denying that it will aid thousands of needy people.
After reading about Starbucks’ latest activity on their community giveback agenda, it’s possible that the survey respondents who said they hated the new rewards system might change their mind. It certainly takes the edge off of paying a little extra for your morning coffee, knowing that your money is being invested wisely in programs that serve the community locally and globally.