Overall this product is not all that sustainable in my mind. The product contains a significant amount of sugar and I’m a big critic on the use of cow milk. I would recommend to the consumer that they use a reusable coffee mug and buy a caffeinated beverage that way. I absolutely love the doubleshot espresso for a mid-day boost, but now feel like the best move for my health and sustainability is to bring my own mug and just order a second black coffee. I recommend that the company steps up their transparency game as well as holds true to their “50% reductions in carbon emissions, water withdrawal, and waste sent to landfills” promise. I understand that this is a significant reduction for a ten year journey, and highly respect this intention, but hope that they can do more by then. To put it frankly. Starbucks Coffee has a huge following and needs to make their entire process more sustainable.
This caffeinated beverage is 6.5 fl oz, 140 calories, 4 grams of protein and an enormous amount of 18 grams of sugar. Side observation: The container bolds calories, sodium, total carb and protein on the nutrition label which I felt somewhat hid the sugar content as it blended in. The ingredient list is short: brewed espresso, coffee (water, coffee), reduced-fat milk, sugar, cream and skim milk. I love the taste and the quick amount of caffeine, but am highly concerned about the amount of sugar especially as it is such a small beverage. “The American Heart Association (AHA) has recommended that Americans drastically cut back on added sugar to help slow the obesity and heart disease epidemics.” So based on this, I feel as though this product might not be on the good side of SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing). It should also be noted that as this product uses cow milk, it has a greater environmental impact than a vegan milk (oat, soy, etc.). “Cows and their manure produce greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change” and they also require more freshwater usage than milk alternatives.
The coffee itself is claimed to be “ethically sourced.” The use the C.A.F.E certification which stands for coffee and farmer. In summary based on some quite extensive research, I do believe that Starbucks is making strides to be sustainable with their coffee bean use and farming however details aren’t transparent and many vague and empty statements exist. They are one of the leading sustainability corporations in the coffee industry though.
The process of making the espresso is not transparent. There is no information given by Starbucks about the process of making this product. From other sources, it appears as though they use The Mastrena Espresso Machine which is for Starbucks only. Yes, in order to buy one you would have to buy the company. This machine ranges from costing $17,000 to $40,000. Honestly I found this fascinating. The machine is made by a small group in Switzerland who is dedicated to making the machine as industrialized as possible while keeping the same quality of espresso. Keep in mind that of these machines are in every Starbucks around the world, carbon emissions from transporting and producing this machine do exist. Additionally, the container that the doubleshot espresso comes in is not marked as recyclable and the materials aren’t clear. This cannot be sustainable.
This product sells for $14.97 on Amazon for a 12 pack coming out to just $1.25 a can which I feel is relatively low for Starbucks. As a company, Starbucks has said that “by 2030, the cafe chain is targeting 50% reductions in carbon emissions, water withdrawal, and waste sent to landfills.” This is a huge goal for the company which I greatly admire and support. Especially considering in 2018 they responsible for emitting 16 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, using 1 billion cubic meters of water and dumping 868 metric kilotons—more than twice the weight of the Empire State Building—of coffee cups and other waste.“ I feel as though Starbucks is making significant strides. They have phased straws out and are hoping to switch to more sustainable milk alternatives. But what really are ”fair wages“ and why won’t they give us a number? Also, as a global company, its almost inherent that production/distribution causes some form of carbon emissions. From researching this, it appears that the extent of this information is lacking.