This excerpt taken from the SBUX DEF 14A filed Jan 22, 2010.
The Starbucks Board of Directors recommends that shareholders vote AGAINST this proposal for the following reasons:
Starbucks believes in the importance of caring for our planet and has a longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship. Our focus on recycling is an essential part of this commitment. To that end, Starbucks has developed a comprehensive recycling strategy to minimize the environmental impacts of the Company’s products. Information on our recycling strategy, as well as other aspects of the Starbuckstm Shared Planettm initiative, is publicly available at


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Starbucks continuously evaluates the environmental footprint of our beverage containers and has taken definitive actions to mitigate the environmental impacts of the Company’s single-use packaging. For example, Starbucks has worked with supply chain partners who manufacture our packaging and disposable products to maximize post consumer recycled content in our paper goods, minimized the number of different resins in our plastic products to enhance recycling and even reduced the carbon footprint of our cold cups by 45% through materials changes and cup weight reduction. Starbucks has also established significant, relevant, quantitative forward looking goals to further mitigate the impact of the Company’s packaging through increased recycling and a reduction in the overall quantity of packaging by increasing the number of beverages served in reusable cups and mugs.
A sampling of Starbucks current initiatives includes:
  •  Packaging innovation:  Introduction of the recycled-content cup sleeve as a way to reduce “double cupping”; launch of the industry’s first paper beverage cup containing post-consumer recycled fiber (PCF); maximizing post-consumer recycled content in the Company’s non-cup paper goods, with an average of 65% recycled fibers in 2008; and encouraging customers to choose reusable cup options by rewarding those who bring in their own travel tumblers with a $0.10 discount off the price of their beverages.
  •  Industry Leadership:  Starbucks is active in the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, an industry collaborative effort to drive innovation in packaging design across all materials; Starbucks is also a founding member of the Paper Working Group, contributing to the development of the Environmental Paper Assessment Tool. We hosted a cup summit in May 2009, bringing stakeholders from the entire value chain together for the first time to develop systems-based solutions to increase cup recycling globally.
  •  Quantitative Targets Moving Forward:  Starbucks has implemented specific goals to reduce the environmental impact of serving our beverages, including 100% recyclable or compostable cups by 2012, in-store recycling for customers in 100% of the stores where Starbucks controls waste management by 2015, and 25% of the Company’s beverages served in reusable containers by 2015, which would decrease Starbucks paper cup usage by approximately one billion cups annually using current sales data.
This resolution asks Starbucks to develop comprehensive plans for recycling and the use of recycled content materials in our packaging. We have already done this and have publicly stated aggressive targets to demonstrate a commitment to lead the specialty coffee and retail industry in ensuring that comprehensive recycling opportunities for single use paper and plastic cups come about over the next three years.
Although Starbucks also sells a number of ready to drink (“RTD”) beverages in glass, aluminum and plastic containers, and is consistently working with our suppliers to mitigate the environmental impact of those bottles and cans, these RTDs represent less than 4% of Starbucks total retail beverage sales. Consequently, Starbucks believes it is most appropriate to focus primarily on sustainable packaging for paper and plastic cups, where we have the largest market share in the specialty coffee industry and the greatest potential to achieve success in changing the entire business sector for the better.
This resolution also asks Starbucks to set quantitative goals for the diversion of single use packaging from landfill disposal to recycling. Starbucks believes it is appropriate for the Company to set targets for customer access to recycling in Starbucks stores. We have also committed to work with local regulators and recycling companies to increase access in homes, offices and public spaces. However, actual rates at which Starbucks customers choose to recycle their products are highly dependent upon the shared actions of other stakeholders outside Starbucks influence. We therefore believe that measuring against these rates, as the proposal requests, would provide a poor indicator of our performance.
Sustainable packaging is an explicit priority for Starbucks and is incorporated into the everyday packaging design and purchasing decisions of the Company. We have set specific targets that maintain Starbucks leadership role as an industry innovator in minimizing the environmental footprint of our most important and greatest volume packaging — our paper hot cups and plastic cold cups.


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We remain committed to being an environmentally responsible business. Starbucks will continue striving to find innovative ways to minimize the environmental impacts of our products. Implementation of this proposal will not further the Company’s environmental or recycling goals in any meaningful respect. On the contrary, this proposal would result in the Company incurring unnecessary costs and expenses by duplicating efforts that are already underway and providing additional reports with information that is already available to shareholders.


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