Starbucks and Social Responsibility

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Starbucks and Corporate Social Responsibility

Robin Rieske, CPP, BA

Southern New Hampshire University

Starbucks, an international coffee store, began in Seattle in 1971 as a collaborative of three business partners. In the 1980’s Starbucks began to expand beyond Seattle and the chain began to go internationally. It is reported that as of August, 2012, Starbucks is now located in 58 countries making it an extremely viable force in the coffee industry. Starbucks mission, according to its website, is “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”(Starbucks Website). As mentioned in lectures (Wyatt, 2012) and readings (Waddock, 2008), Corporate Social Responsibility needs to be comprehensive and considerate of a wide range of stakeholders and three specific spheres. These spheres include economic, political and civil society. Starbucks has grown a lot in the past several decades and has worked to respond to issues that have arisen in several of these spheres. Starbucks has, as part of its CSR report, information about Environmental stewardship: Community involvement and Ethical Sourcing. In terms of community giving, Starbucks thrives both locally and abroad, including provisionfinancial support after the Tsunami in 2010. Starbucks also has developed ethical standards for supporting farmers and employment opportunities. Politically, Starbucks also strives to participate in global human rights issues and to be transparent in its political contributions. (Starbucks Website). Environmentally, Starbucks established its first environmental mission in 1992. And then, after pressure to consider labor practices, wrote a Framework for Code of Conduct in 1995. (Waddock, 2008). Criticism continued about practices with labor and environmental issues, so Starbucks upgraded various programs in 2001. Global Exchange, for example, continues to...
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