Starbucks is looking to lower their carbon footprint by ditching “dairy” aka mammary fluid milks. While they’ve had almond milk since 2016 this new push comes from CEO Kevin Johnson as the company pursues carbon neutrality.
The CEO publicly acknowledged the impact that the dairy industry has on the environment and has led the charge in getting the coffee chain into this new direction with the help of plant-based alternatives.
Quantis a sustainability consultant recently completed an audit of Starbucks in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that showed “dairy” was the culprit responsible for 21 percent of the coffee conglomerate’s carbon footprint. “Dairy” used at Starbucks is contributing 15.6 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere at 31,000 stores in 2018 alone.
“Alternative milks will be a big part of the solution,” Johnson told Bloomberg. “The consumer-demand curve is already shifting.”
Johnson said that 15 to 20 percent of North American Starbucks’ customers are already choosing plant-based vegan milk alternatives and the plan is to continue encouraging customers to choose those alternatives even more in the coming years so that they can step away from the misery and environmental impact of bovine mammary fluids.
Earlier in January Starbucks published a sustainability statement where Johnson listed five key steps he wants to implement in order to get the company to what he calls a “resource positive” position in this new decade.
The list is as follows:
To expand their plant-based vegan options for a more sustainable menu
Ending disposable packaging and using only reusable packaging
Putting money into funding regenerative agriculture
Investment into better waste management
Developing much more eco-friendly stores
“We know this journey will be challenging, we know we can’t do this alone, and we know this will require others to join us,” Johnson said.
Starbucks has been exploring plant-based vegan milk alternatives since launching oat milk back in 2016 including oat milk which was just recently added to the menu of over 1,300 test locations in the Midwest of the United States earlier this month just in time for Veganuary.