The infamous image of the girl in the green circle; of course I mean Starbucks. Everywhere you go you see it. Grabbing a wake me up coffee in the library, walking to class, even walking around the streets of a major city. Starbucks is everywhere and has become a phenomenon. If you have seen the movie Shrek, you will see the characters running out of a Starbucks frantically only to try and hide in another Starbucks…5ft away. Starbucks is a company that is known across the world. If you see that green and white logo of the girl, no one questions that it is Starbucks.
So what does such a well known and household name stand for? They may be popular, but we know that popularity doesn’t necessarily mean ethical. What drives Starbucks? In class we have come across companies like Enron that have been solely driven by greed and wealth. Because of this they were incredibly successful…for a very short amount of time. Is Starbucks motivated by profits or does the company have more depth?
Starbucks prides itself on being socially responsible. On their website they state:
“It’s our commitment to do things that are good to people each other and the planet. From the way we buy our coffee, to minimizing our environmental impact, to being involved in local communities. It’s doing things the way we always have. And it’s using our size for good. And because you support us, Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ is what you are a part of too.”
Over the years Starbucks has advertised and tried to make a point of demonstrating to the world that they are socially responsible. They have listed numerous goals that they would live to achieve by 2015 such as: 100% reusable or recyclable cups, 100% recycling in our stores, and taking on climate change. Starbucks avidly tries to portray the fact that achieve these goals means that customers, employees, and all people involved with Starbucks must help and be responsible. Starbucks states that they use ethical trading and responsible growing practices. Starbucks works with coffee-growing communities by paying the prices that high quality coffee demand, investing a better future for farmers through loan programs etc.
Having just given a presentation about Milton, I thought to myself that Milton would be extremely opposed to the efforts of Starbucks. Milton focused primarily on profit while maintaining within the law. Starbucks goes “above and beyond” to be socially responsible. On one hand, Starbucks does this to try and please the customer. This mentality would coincide with Milton. On the other hand, Starbucks is doing more than just appeasing the customer. Starbucks is genuinely trying to make a different to better the world. Starbucks is giving up profits to try and be environmentally friendly.
After reading the Nike case and reading about the labor issues, I think it is admirable that Starbucks is so concerned with their farmers. I think they are being extremely responsible and doing what we would deem as a class as “ethical.”