Critical Essay | Starbucks: Investigation into the Company’s Social Performance with Regard to the Environment


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Starbucks is theworld’s largest coffee chain. Founded in Seattle, Washington, in 1971, the coffeehouse chain has grown to more than 23,768 braches worldwide, which include more than 13,107 stores in the United States alone (Starbucks, 2017). The company distinguishes from the traditional coffee house in terms of taste, quality, and customer experience, with a specialization in serving darkly roasted coffee. As a global brand, and with an obligation to shareholders, the major obligation of the company is to make maximum returns to the shareholders, which makes it difficult for the company to balance profit seeking behavior with its corporate social responsibilities (Welford, 2017). With growing consumer awareness, Starbucks has however been forced to strike a balance between profit seeking and social responsibilities(Schaltegger and Wagner, 2011).  However, there company is faced with a number of social challenges, especially regarding the environment, although it has made great strides in resolving these issues. This study looks into Starbuck’s social responsibility performance with regard to the environment.