- Starbucks will power 3,000 locations with clean energy by 2021 via a partnership with LevelTenEnergy, according to a press release.
- LevelTen procured a custom-built portfolio of three projects that include wind and solar farms in North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.
- A data sharing collaboration between the project developers and LevelTen will allow the coffee chain to monitor its renewable energy generation, track portfolio performance and streamline contract management.
Starbucks is no stranger to green initiatives, particularly when it comes to cleaning up its energy usage. It has made several efforts to source sustainable energy, and is the top retailer to buy renewable energy, according to Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership. The Seattle-based retailer is working with Puget Sound Energy to power 100 stores in Washington and its Kent roasting facility. In North Carolina, it invested in a solar farm that produces enough energy to power 600 stores in the Mid-Atlantic and South. Last year, Starbucks invested $325 million in an Illinois wind farm to power 340 of its stores in the state. Beyond its renewable energy initiatives, it also secured a $1 billion sustainability bond in May to support its mission to source ethically grown coffee.
Sustainability-focused offerings are catching more and more attention, with 88% of consumers searching for brands that help them make a difference when it comes to environmental health and wellness. For many consumers, finding ways to make a meaningful difference during their daily lives can be challenging, so they prefer to back companies that can make it easier.
A number of other restaurant brands are making similar strides in cleaning up their image. Whether it's entirely altruistic or aimed at wooing consumers is unclear, however. McDonald's is working to purchase 100% of its coffee from sustainable sources by 2020, while Wendy's has been working on new ways to reduce its energy consumption. KFC is also tapping solar energy for some of its store locations across the globe, while Sonic Drive-In has a fleet of solar-powered food trucks that help motor its sustainability-focused marketing around town.