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Starbucks Coffee Company to Receive 2005 World Environment Center Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development

Washington, D.C., January 27, 2005 – The World Environment Center (WEC) has selected Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) to receive its 21st Annual Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development for international leadership in sustainable development within the specialty coffee industry. This leadership is clearly demonstrated in the company’s development of Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices, a set of environmentally, socially and economically responsible coffee buying guidelines created in conjunction with Conservation International that are designed to contribute positively to the livelihoods of coffee farmers while placing an emphasis on environmental conservation and supply chain transparency.

Coffee affects the lives of over 25 million farmers in more than 70 countries around the world, many of which are developing regions. Traditional coffee production methods can often adversely affect the surrounding environment through the use of harmful chemicals and unnecessary deforestation. Although Starbucks Coffee Company purchases only two percent of the world’s coffee, Starbucks has used its position in the global marketplace to demonstrate how innovation in combining corporate social responsibility and business strategy can lead to long-term economic and environmental sustainability.

“Contributing positively to our communities and environment is at the heart of Starbucks,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman. “Starbucks is committed to constantly improving our environmental footprint in every level of our supply chain, from coffee farmer to customer. We are honored to receive this award in recognition of our leadership in helping to ensure sustainability at origin.”

The WEC’s Gold Medal Jury based its award criteria on a comprehensive group of achievements that demonstrates superior performance in the areas of policy, implementation, and leadership in sustainable development. These ideals are exemplified in Starbucks innovative Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices Program – an initiative that provides incentives worldwide for suppliers who meet high quality, transparency, environmental, and labor standards. By 2007, the company has pledged to purchase more than 60 percent of its coffee from suppliers who grow coffee under C.A.F.E. Practices guidelines.

“Incentivizing growers with low cost loans, long-term contracts and guaranteed prices is a pioneering new route to agricultural production,” said Gold Medal Jury Chairman Dr. Joel Abrams, Professor Emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh. “This creative new way of doing business has the potential to improve the lives of people and the global environment.”

The Jury believes that Starbucks outstanding environmental leadership and achievements stand as a model to be emulated by agribusinesses throughout the world to help preserve and protect the environment.

The WEC Gold Medal Award will be presented at a formal gala on Friday, May 13, 2005, at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., in recognition of the company’s global leadership in sustainable development. Mr. Schultz will accept the award on behalf of Starbucks approximately 100,000 partners in 35 countries around the world.

The World Environment Center Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development was established in 1985 to recognize preeminent industry leadership initiatives and contributions to worldwide environmental quality and sustainable development. The WEC Gold Medal is awarded annually by an independent Jury comprised of distinguished international environmental experts. The Jury carefully examines all applications submitted by qualified multinational companies each year. Each nomination is examined for a clearly articulated set of values, a history of proven accomplishment, a global outlook and a commitment to sustainable development.

A complete list of Jury members, the Citation for the 2005 WEC Gold Medal Awardee, and a list of previous recipients are available at the WEC website The WEC Gold Medal Jury is completely independent of the WEC and its programs, and is composed of international environmental leaders from academia, government, industry and non-governmental organizations.

About Starbucks
Starbucks Coffee Company is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world, with more than 8,700 retail locations in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. The Company is committed to offering the highest quality coffee and the Starbucks Experience while conducting its business in ways that produce social, environmental and economic benefits for communities in which it does business. For more information about Starbucks, please visit

About the World Environment Center
The World Environment Center (WEC) is an independent, not-for-profit, non-advocacy organization. Working with the private sector, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and academia, the WEC promotes sustainable development by encouraging leadership, improving health and safety practices worldwide, and fostering the efficient use of natural resources to protect the global environment. The WEC supports its mission through three central programs: the International Environment Forum (IEF); the WEC Gold Medal Award; and Capacity Building for the Environment programs. For more information about the WEC, please visit or email

Ryan Nelson
Program Coordinator
(+1 202) 312-1211
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Suite 550, Mailbox 142
Washington, DC 20004-3022


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