Corporate America and Sustainability

In the U.S. “sustainability” is a growing trend amongst many businesses. Corporate sustainability maintains the focus on profit maximization, but also takes into account other key factors such as environmental protection and development. With millions of thriving businesses in the U.S., the consequences of the way these enterprises conduct business must be taken into consideration.

Here at Action we practice sustainability by using eco-friendly business practices, and by working with not-for-profit organizations such as PENCIL.

Another company which practices corporate sustainability is the powerhouse coffee chain, Starbucks. Starbucks strives to minimalize its “environmental footprint” by building more energy-efficient stores and conserving their energy and water, among other initiatives. The company uses fair trade coffee, and has one of the most effective supply chains in its industry. By 2015, Starbucks hopes to have implemented “front-of-store” recycling in each of their stores so that customers can easily recycle their coffee cup or any other recyclable material purchased at the store. This goal was set into motion in 2008, and by 2013 they had effectively introduced “front-of-store” recycling in 39% of their company-operated stores.

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Initially, Starbucks saw recycling as a fool-proof way to responsibly get rid of waste. However, the company did not take into account that all of its customers might not be educated on the topic of recycling. For example, if someone unknowingly tosses a non-recyclable item into a recycling container, it messes up the whole system and everything in that container becomes waste, and unable to be recycled. Although they have faced some challenges in their efforts to be a greener business, Starbucks continues to work with customers in hopes of educating them and bettering their habits. I would advise anyone unsure of the recycling process to check out the “Action” website. It is very informative and helps give our customers a better understanding of what we do here, and what their part in the recycling process consists of.