Retail in Asia


Starbucks opens first Greener Store in Japan

Starbucks announced the opening of its first Greener Store in Japan, as the company accelerates the international expansion of its open-source Greener Store Framework co-developed with World Wildlife Fund (WWF)  in support of its global goal to reduce carbon emissions, water usage, and waste sent to landfills by 50 percent by 2030.

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Opening its doors on 1st December, Japan’s first Greener Store serves as a sustainability hub where Starbucks can test and scale solutions to inform Starbucks Greener Stores expansion across Japan.

Located in the Outer Gardens of Tokyo’s Imperial Palace, the Wadakura Fountain Park Store has been designed with the aim of reducing its in-store waste by 40 percent compared to other Starbucks stores in Japan. In addition, carbon emissions will be reduced by 30 percent and water consumption by 20 percent by applying the Greener Store Framework to the store. 

“Our Greener Stores allow us to test and learn how we can build and operate even more sustainable stores and inspire our partners and customers to adopt more eco-conscious behaviors,” said Michael Kobori, Starbucks Chief Sustainability Officer. 

“Our first Greener Store in Japan expands on recent innovations in the market, and is a testament to the passion and energy of our partners in creating solutions to reduce our environmental impact,” added Kobori.

 “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Starbucks and the 25th anniversary of Starbucks Japan, we want to ensure we are creating a sustainable future for the next generation. Through this new store experience, we hope to inspire our customers to join us in reducing waste, leading to planet-positive business operations, and making steady progress together towards the realisation of a sustainable society,” said Takafumi Minaguchi, Starbucks Japan CEO

The store adopts enhanced operations and design features that invite customers to join Starbucks on its resource-positive journey. 

By providing customers with a range of options suited to their preferences, Starbucks aims to reduce single-use cup usage by 75 percent at the store. Through a new reusable to-go cup pilot, Starbucks will encourage customers to switch to reusables by providing a stainless-steel tumbler for to-go orders, which can be collected at the stores, sanitised and reused. The service will be available in participating stores in Tokyo, and free of charge for customers through the initial trial period. Customers can also bring their own cup or tumbler to enjoy discount, as well as enjoy their beverages in-store served in For-Here Ware. 

The store repurposes materials to create a welcoming third place environment that celebrates circularity. From artwork created using recycled canvas and fishing nets, floor tiling made from coffee grounds, to refurbished furniture made to last, the store showcases how waste materials can be transformed to create beautiful aesthetics that inspire reusable behaviours. In addition, 85 percent of construction materials used to build the store have been recycled, and 15 percent of materials recycled into biomass fuel.

The store will reduce carbon emissions and water consumption by introducing renewable energy-powered cleaning stations and innovative water circulation systems that recycle more than 98 percent of the water used for washing hands. Customers can order a range of food options from a digital menu, which replaces the standard food display case, to further reduce food waste. 

Starbucks Japan has recently transitioned to renewable energy across all its company-owned stores nationwide, and continues to pilot reusable cup programs to encourage customers to adopt more reusable behaviours in their everyday routines.

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With more than 2,300 Greener Stores in the United States and Canada, the Wadakura Fountain Park Store is Starbucks second store outside North America to be certified under the Greener Store Framework, following the Shanghai Greener Store, which opened in September 2021. Starbucks will open two new Greener Stores in the UK and Chile in 2022, as it advances towards building and retrofitting 10,000 Greener Stores globally by 2025.