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Friday, December 1, 2017

Strategic CSR - Starbucks

The article in the url below is a powerful reminder of the potential for success for those companies that define their values clearly and then stick by them. The stimulus for the profile is Starbuck's commitment to investing in underserved communities, but it is also a review of the firm's underlying philosophy of business:
"This café in Missouri represents one of 15 that Starbucks has committed to opening in underserved communities nationwide by the end of 2018 as part of its larger social-impact agenda, which over the past three years has grown increasingly aggressive, targeted, and sometimes controversial. In 2013, the company pledged to hire 10,000 veterans and military family spouses within five years and, having met the goal a year and a half early, upped its 'hiring and honoring' commitment to 25,000 by 2025. In 2015, the Seattle giant launched another hiring initiative, this one to bring on board 10,000 'opportunity youth' (men and women between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not in school or working). The company has since hired 40,000, and this past spring pledged to reach 100,000 by 2020. In January, as an immediate rebuke to the restrictive travel and refugee-acceptance policies President Trump announced upon taking office, Starbucks launched yet another hiring effort: to partner with trusted agencies around the world and by 2022 hire 10,000 refugees in its stores across the world."
Starbucks has faced criticism for its various social causes (whether the #racetogether campaign or the commitment to hire refugees). The key, however, is Howard Schultz's belief that, while the firm makes mistakes, the commitment to follow-through on its values can only be a benefit:
"At the annual shareholders meeting [following the #boycottstarbucks campaign], Schultz reiterated to the crowd that 'we have never shown a harmful impact on our business due to our compassion.'"
The article is long, but well worth the read if you are looking for reaffirming evidence of the power of business to deliver optimal outcomes across the broad range of stakeholders.
Have a good weekend
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Starbucks Digs In
By Karen Valby
September, 2017
Fast Company Magazine