Starbucks is an American coffee company that started in 1971 in Seattle, Washington by three partners that got to know each other through the University of San Francisco, who are Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker. They were all influenced to sell high-quality coffee beans and equipment by a contractor called Alfred Peet who taught them his way to do a delicious coffee. Starbucks is an Italian-styled coffeehouse chain that sells one of the best coffees worldwide, they have about 28,218 coffee stores internationally. “ Starbucks represents something beyond a cup of coffee (Schultz, 2012). After Howard Schultz became the CEO of Starbucks, the revenue of the company rose to over nine billion American dollars with a market cap of almost eighteen billion dollars. And of course, one of Starbucks ' main purposes to be successful is being socially responsible.
The term corporate social responsibility means different things to different people but mainly it focuses on doing the right thing and the aspects that include business ethics, customer, employees, globalization, environment, responsible market, and social reporting. So basically, it means that businesses go beyond what they are obligated to do, they choose to do some particular social need and look at what it could do to improve the society because they believe it is the right thing to do.
Starbucks is one of the top companies that are famous for CSR, they have a strategy that’s built on three things: environment, ethical sourcing, and community. One of their CSR work is promoting community stores that associate with local nonprofits. Starbucks donates 0.05$ to 0.15$ per transaction to the nonprofit partner. The company has also pledged to implement one million trees to farmers as a partner of Conservation International’s which is like a sustainable coffee challenge. Starbucks is planning to hire ten thousand refugees across the globe in 75 countries in the upcoming five years, as well as hiring twenty-five thousand veterans by 2025.
Business ethics is strongly related to corporate social responsibility, when there is good ethics in the organization then there will be good corporate social responsibility. It is common sense that when a company has great ethical behavior then the possibility that they would be more responsible about social actions is higher than those organizations who don’t because if they don’t consider ethical behavior, they might not as well consider being socially responsible.
Starbucks has the largest coffeehouse chain in the world and is considered one of the most liked and most known consumer brands across the world. Starbucks is known to be one of the most ethical companies in the world (Smith, 2012). Starbucks makes a lot of effort to handle business in an ethical manner and be responsible through diversity, community, and environment. Many business analysts have agreed that Starbucks is a respected company due to its social responsibility. It has earned this reputation through its actions such as posting on their website how they are willing to help the environment by offering to buy and sell environmentally friendly products. Another ethical example is when the company has publicized its values on the walls of Starbucks shops across the world stating the company’s values which are community, ethical sourcing, environment, diversity, and customer wellness. Starbucks is one of the rarest companies that provide health benefits to both their part-time employees and full-time employees. A lot of part employees who work in fast-food restaurants or other stores like Starbucks are not provided with health benefits. They also allow their employees to choose what charity they wish to promote through volunteering hours and cash contributions. An example of that is in April of 2012 they have reached 230,000 hours of community service.
Starbucks sometimes face challenges and dilemmas for maintaining being ethical, one of their very nice behaviors is that when a coffee drink is spilled, they offer a free coffee just like the coffee that was spilled to the person who spilled it, to make the person’s stay at Starbucks more pleasant and do not embrace the customer because they care a lot about their customers. Ney York times have conducted a survey to know the reasons why they are losing ethical customers, the survey questioned their customers about their opinion they rated as one of the worst fast food and coffee shop. Starbucks has faced criticism when they attempt to put obstacles in an Ethiopian attempt to register the trademark of its coffee “Fairtrade” which caused the company to lose 47$ million a year in the country. However, Starbucks now has fixed its issues with Ethiopia. So, this shows that Starbucks cares about their customers and they take their surveys and opinion into consideration to make their coffee company a better place.