New Starbucks impact board reinforces promises to suppliers

Starbucks buys 3% of the world’s coffee, and is establishing a new Environmental, Partner and Community Impact Board Committee

The company is extending their oversight of how they go about their six promises which includes how they work with their supply chain and partners. The Board of Directors intends to establish a new Environmental, Partner and Community Impact (EPCI) Board Committee, as a continued evolution of the overall governance approach to the company.

"Over the past year, we have been singularly focused on ensuring that we are well positioned for mutual success with all of our stakeholders,” said Laxman Narasimhan, Chief Executive Officer of Starbucks. “Living our new mission and upholding our new set of promises and values every day is paramount to achieving this mutual success. This committee will keep us accountable and push us forward.”

Laxman Narasimhan (Credit: Starbucks)

Oversight responsibilities

The new committee will assist the Starbucks Board of Directors in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities required to respond to shifting regulations and standards, and drive accountability across Starbucks promises on environment, partners, and community impact. The committee will also have oversight of internal and external reporting tools and assessments, including the annual Global Environment and Social Impact Report (GESI) and initiatives to strengthen partner engagement and revitalise partner culture.

“Starbucks has always set ambitious goals to deliver performance through the lens of humanity,” said Mellody Hobson, independent Starbucks Board of Directors chair. “Our new mission reflects the changing global environment and builds on our brand’s legacy of driving human connection and purpose. This new board committee is another step forward to help us deliver on our promises to our partners, community, and the environment.”

Beth Ford, currently a Starbucks director and President and Chief Executive Officer of Land O’Lakes, will serve as the independent chair of the EPCI Board Committee.

Jørgen Knudstorp, independent chair of the Nomination and Governance Committee of the Board of Directors, said, “We are contemporising our approach to governance at Starbucks to reflect the future changes we see in the environment. This new committee will unify important work already taking place across other areas of the board to help ensure we are listening to our constituents and delivering on our promises consistently and transparently. The committee looks forward to updating our stakeholders on our work through the annual GESI Report and our other ongoing assessments. I am excited that Beth Ford has agreed to chair this committee and to work alongside my fellow directors to continue to drive positive outcomes for all Starbucks stakeholders.”

Ethical procurement at Starbucks 

Starbucks currently sources coffee from 400,000 farmers in 30 countries, and uses Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices as the cornerstone of their ethical sourcing approach.

That programme was the coffee industry’s first set of ethical sourcing standards when it first launched in 2004. It was developed in collaboration with Conservation International, C.A.F.E. Practices is a verification program that measures farms against economic, social and environmental criteria, all designed to promote transparent, profitable and sustainable coffee growing practices while also protecting the well-being of coffee farmers and workers, their families and their communities. 

C.A.F.E. Practices have helped Starbucks create a long-term supply of high-quality coffee and positively impact the lives and livelihoods of coffee farmers and their communities. The open-sourced program consists of more than 200 indicators – from financial reporting to protecting workers’ rights and conserving water and biodiversity. The program includes a third-party verification process that is overseen by SCS Global Services, responsible for ensuring the quality and integrity of the audits.


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Other magazines that may be of interest - Supply Chain Magazine | Sustainability Magazine


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