Global Technology, the Natural Environment, and Sustainability
Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks, might refer to his stores as “the third place” (between home and the office), yet many people have found that they not only go to Starbucks for an excellent (but expensive) cup of java but because Starbucks represents to them how a mature, socially responsible, technologically savvy firm should behave in the twenty-first century. It all starts with Starbucks’ mission,1 which includes providing a great work environment, paying employees well, treating each other with respect and dignity, fostering enthusiastic satisfied customers all of the time, contributing positively to its communities and the environment, and last, but certainly not least, recognizing that profitability is essential to its future success.2 Starbucks is serious about the environment-both that of the world around it and in its stores. “We share our customers’ commitment to the environment and we believe in the importance of caring for our planet, working with and encouraging others to do the same. As a company that relies on an agricultural product, it makes good business sense. And as people living in the world, it is simply the right thing to do.”3 Starbucks believes that many customers would not feel at home and hang out in a business that did not subscribe to the same values and ethical considerations that they did-especially if they knew that the firm was socially irresponsible and contributed to polluting the environment.