Buying Green Coffee, Environmentally That Is

We spend so much time thinking about the bad in big coffee (see here and here), but occasionally we have to give credit where credit is due.  Last week Starbucks Coffee cut the ribbon on a new roasting facility in South Carolina.  The opening is surprising enough in an economy that is forcing the company to contract its geographic hold, but that was not the only surprising twist.

Starbucks’ new coffee roasting facility is LEED Silver certified.  LEED will have little to nothing to do with the quality of coffee roasted in the facility, but will have a much more profound impact on all of our lives.  Indulge us as we skirt the realm of coffee and look at why Starbucks’ move is admirable.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which is a rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to encourage environmentally friendly construction projects.  Its rating systems are developed and updated by volunteer LEED committees of practitioners and experts in an effort to give recognition to those who deserve it.  As an added benefit, often the higher up-front costs of constructing environmentally friendly buildings are greatly overshadowed by the savings created by energy efficiency.

Now LEED silver is by no means the best rating, the system goes to gold and platinum, but it is still a great accomplishment and much better than most companies are doing.  Ratings are based on a point system, which gives points for each “green’ attribute – these range from energy efficiency and green site selection to in-building bicycle storage facilities; a range of small and large steps to improve the footprint of any facility.  We can only hope that more companies move in this direction.

So with that, thanks to Starbucks for taking this step forward.  We will look forward to seeing why kinds of coffee your green roasting facility produces.

For more about the U.S. Green Building Council and LEED check out

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>