Starbucks is a company full of contradictions. On one hand, Starbucks’ leadership is passionate about shrinking their global carbon footprint and improving the lives of tens of thousands of workers through better access to insurance and higher wages than other food chains. But on the other hand, the corporation has turned the latte into a fast food commodity that isn’t only bad for our waistlines and wallets, but has made it nearly impossible for smaller independent coffee shops to compete.
Insurance Quotes’ latest Hidden Costs video evaluates the global impact of Starbucks on our health, our environment, and our economy. So what’s the grade? A respectable “B”. It turns out that the company’s forward-looking leadership is truly making the company a healthier presence in the world.
Right now, you’re probably sitting within a mile of six Starbucks where you can blow $6 on a 780 calorie peppermint mocha. And maybe this video has gotten you hankering for one. So treat yourself. Chances are, that mocha will be ground from fair trade espresso beans by a barista with company-provided health benefits.
- Video Transcript
- Health: B
- Locally: (C)
- The Starbucks menu covers the gambit of health – from the 5 calorie drip coffee which will give you the kick of energy you need in the morning and help you fight cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, to the Peppermint white hot chocolate which clocks in at 730 calories – a third of the calorie intake for the average American.
- Globally: (A-)
- While unhealthy items are available, Starbucks offers nutritious foods on their menus worldwide and doesn’t use high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, or dyes in their products. Also, Starbucks offer comprehensive health coverage to employees – even some part-time workers and as well as a wellness program for employees to help them lose weight, quit smoking, and more.
- Environment: B
- Locally: (C)
- While Starbucks says it’s working to make more environmentally friendly cups – for the time being, each classic Starbucks is made with 10% recycled materials, but isn’t necessarily recyclable itself. However, the cup sleeves are recyclable. That being said, customers who bring a reusable mug won’t just save $.10, but a piece of the environment as well by opting against the paper cup.
- Globally: (A-)
- Starbucks promotes recycling, uses renewable sources of energy, has redesigned equipment to reduce wasted water, built greener stores, and are working to improve coffee production in the field with partner Conservation International. However, operation takes energy - the utility bills of Starbucks alone push their carbon footprint to around 4,900 pounds per day.
- Economy: B+
- Locally: (D)
- If the average price of a Starbucks drink is about $3.00, and a person bought a drink every weekday on their way to work – the annual Starbucks bill would rack up to about $780. While the indulgence may be worth the price tag, it is easy to make a latte, with syrup for about $.25 a day, saving $715 at the end of the year.
- Globally: (A)
- In 2011, Starbucks had net revenue of $11.7 billion – money pumped back into the world economy purchasing ingredients and paying employees and investors. Starbucks employs over 116,000 employees in the US and over 76,000 people in other countries around the world.
- Final Grade: B