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WEC News and Press Releases

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


For Immediate Release

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
“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
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

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
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

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

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