Starbucks to Develop Sustainability and Innovation Hub in Costa Rica

Starbucks' new innovation hub rendering

(Credit: Starbucks)

by | Jun 22, 2023

This article is included in these additional categories:

Starbucks is launching a sustainability research and innovation lab at its agronomy headquarters in Costa Rica for hands-on and virtual learning opportunities for Starbucks employees, students, researchers, and industry leaders.

The lab, located at the company’s first and only coffee farm, Hacienda Alsacia, will aim to tackle some of the biggest environmental challenges and social issues, such as climate adaptation and agricultural economics. Starbucks anticipates the lab will physically open within the next three years, though it plans to offer educational training this fall through a partnership with Arizona State University (ASU). Select ASU students and Starbucks partners will be able to attend the first wave of training. 

The partnership leverages ASU’s educational technology and faculty for students, including study abroad opportunities within existing degree programs such as sustainability, sustainable food systems, global agribusiness, environmental and resource management, and more.

Starbucks already has a partnership with ASU, with more than 10,000 graduates in its Starbucks College Achievement Program. The program enables Starbucks employees to earn their bachelor’s degree online from ASU with 100% tuition coverage by the company. The program has a goal of 25,000 graduates by 2025.

“This is an exciting new chapter in our nearly decade-long partnership with Starbucks,’’ ASU President Michael Crow said in the press release. “The new sustainability learning and innovation lab will expand on our collaboration together, working closely to tackle critical challenges with a collective commitment to seek new and sustainable approaches that impact global communities.”

The move is the latest by Starbucks to improve its sustainability. Last year, the company announced it runs 66% of its stores with clean energy, with the goal of reaching 100%. The company also has a long-term plan to produce carbon-neutral coffee by 2030. Starbucks operates more than 35,000 stores worldwide. Its Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm is company-owned and focuses on the sustainability of coffee with its own research and development to create new coffee varieties. The farm also tests disease-resistant coffee trees and develops and shares agricultural practices for higher-producing coffee yields.

“This is an opportunity for us to advance Starbucks environmental promise to give more than we take and our farmer promise to ensure the future of coffee for all,” Laxman Narasimhan, Starbucks CEO, said in a statement. “We know we cannot do this important work alone, and the possibilities in front of us to scale solutions, partner with thought leaders and serve as a global hub for innovation are limitless.”

The new sustainability and innovation lab will expand capabilities at Hacienda Alsacia to create “positive social and environmental change beyond coffee,” according to a press release.

Editor’s note: Don’t miss the virtual Environment+Energy Leader Solutions Summit ’23 on July 18-19. Learn tangible, innovative solutions to help with sustainable transitions across industries. Speakers from companies and organizations including Schneider Electric, Cority, Jump Associates, Mycocycle, Plainsight, LRQA, the Alliance to Save Energy, and many more will share tactics and lessons that can help you solve your energy management, sustainability, and ESG challenges. Learn more about the #EESummit23, and then register today!

Additional articles you will be interested in.

Stay Informed

Get E+E Leader Articles delivered via Newsletter right to your inbox!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Share This