Starbucks Recycles 161 Tons of Metal Fixtures from Store Upgrades

Starbucks recycled 161 tons of metal from a variety of fixtures collected during upgrades to more than 6,700 stores across the United States. The project is in line with the coffee chain’s new science-based targets.

CEO Kevin Johnson recently sent a letter to shareholders setting 2030 targets for Starbucks that would drastically cut carbon emissions, water use, and waste. The goals include a 50% reduction in waste sent to landfill from stores and manufacturing.

Last fall Starbucks collaborated with two companies to find new uses for the metal from 34,000 fixtures removed during store remodels. Dallas-based Davaco, which specializes in high-volume remodel, reset, and rollout programs for global brands in North America, picked up the fixtures over a four-week period. Their field reps removed the fixtures from each location using cargo vans and box trucks, the company said.

Davaco worked with Atlanta-based waste management, recycling, and smart city technology provider Rubicon on the project. Through its partnership with Becker Iron & Metal, Rubicon supplied more than 250 recycling facilities nationwide so that Davaco reps could drop off the metal and receive a certificate of destruction for each load.

Rebates from the recycling facilities resulted in nearly $10,000 in value back from the material, the project partners reported. Those funds will be donated to nonprofit organizations that support Starbucks’ veteran and military spouse initiatives, they said.

Currently Starbucks has more than 30,000 retail stores in 80 markets worldwide. In the United States, the chain has a store count of around 15,000, according to first quarter fiscal 2020 data.

“Our aspiration is to become resource positive — storing more carbon than we emit, eliminating waste, and providing more clean freshwater than we use,” Johnson wrote last month. “By embracing a longer-term economic, equitable, and planetary value proposition for our company, we will create greater value for all stakeholders.”

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