Construction of New Starbucks Store Is Nearly Zero-Waste

A Greener Starbucks: New Location Will Be Nearly Zero Waste

Starbucks Canada just announced the launch of a “greener,” sustainably-constructed drive-thru store in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Vancouver-based construction company Nexii Building Solutions Inc. built the store in just six days. The first-of-its-kind coffee shop produced near-zero construction waste and features energy and water-efficient interiors, specially designed by Nexii to reduce the need for additional heating or cooling.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) — founded by American nonprofit the U.S. Green Building Council program — certified the interior of the new store. Starbucks has worked with LEED on greener construction and operations in the retail sector since 2001 and opened its first certified store in 2005.

According to the Canada Green Building Council, building construction and operation is responsible for nearly 40 percent of global carbon emissions and 50 percent of materials used. Nexii, which specializes in greener building solutions, used optimized manufacturing and simplified assembly processes to significantly reduce construction waste.

“Buildings and construction can have a substantial impact on Canada’s environmental goals,” explained Catherine Anderson, Vice President of Store Development at Starbucks Canada, in a statement.

“Working with like-minded innovators like Nexii, we are excited to lead the industry in modeling the benefits of green construction and share what we learn with others to help action meaningful, global change,” she added.

A Greener Starbucks: New Location Will Be Nearly Zero Waste
Starbucks plans to increase the availability of in-store recycling. | Starbucks.

Starbucks Aims for Greener Stores

According to Starbucks, the brand aims to design, build, and operate 10,000 greener stores by 2025. In addition to the sustainable construction of all new stores, Starbucks plans to renovate its existing buildings to LEED standards.

Widespread in-store recycling, a national solution to food waste, and the further purchasing of Renewable Energy Certificates — which currently cover 100 percent of the electricity usage for Canada — are also part of the Starbucks 2030 sustainability goals.

Since January 2020, the store has cut back on plastic straws, introduced recyclable strawless lids nationwide in Canada, and expanded its plant-based menus worldwide. Starbucks previously stated that its promotion of its plant-based ingredients, including vegan milk, is to help reduce its significant carbon footprint.

According to an audit carried out by sustainability consultant Quantis and the World Wildlife Fund, Starbucks emitted 16 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, used one billion cubic meters of water, and dumped 868 metric kilotons of coffee cups and other waste in 2018.

Abbotsford’s greener Starbucks drive-thru will open in early 2021.