Retailers Paying to Become Greener
The Washington Post reports today that Starbucks is one of many retailers who are able and willing to lessen their impact on the environment by paying the initial cost to becoming greener.
What's Starbucks doing that's green?
Among many green features, it uses energy saving appliances (from lighting to ovens) for its new or newer stores and gets reused and recycled building material from local sources. Stores have also improved their waste management system to reduce waste.
In a recession, paying more to install low-flow faucets and dual-flush toilets seems counter-intuitive, but those who are intelligent know a good investment when they see one. Retailers who invest now will reap the payoff in lower utility bills, higher efficiency in running a business unclogged up by waste, and something that money cannot buy: a much improved social image. It's an image that says: Yes, like any other retailer, we will take you money, but unlike other retailers, we also do give a damn about the environment.
Although Starbucks is picking up a great deal of momentum in greening its stores, being eco-friendly is actually not new to the popular coffee place. It achieved LEED certification for a store in Hillsborough, Oregon, 10 years ago!!!
Here's yet another article on Starbuck's eco-conscious move.
Having tested and found greening to be both feasible and profitable, Starbucks now plans to green all of its newly built and renovated company-owned stores. Many company-owned stores will take on the change while franchisees will be offered guidance to green their stores and given the option of doing so. There won't be any punitive measures to compel the franchisees to adopt the new retrofit, but chances are, most will want to make a change for the better.
The point is, if Starbucks can do it, it probably means that numerous other retailers can do it too. As time passes, it becomes more and more obvious that retailers who choose to conduct business as usual are either too lazy or too stupid to make changes that benefit themselves as well as the environment. And of course, there will be those who suffer from the regrettable condition of being both too lazy and too stupid to make positive changes.