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Sunday, July 14, 2024

The coffee company that champions sustainability and digital innovation 

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Coffee is one of the topics I love to explore—from its rich history to knowing some of the best coffee makers in the world—there is so much to learn about this beloved drink. 

When it comes to coffee companies, the first brand that easily comes to mind is Starbucks. I mean, who doesn’t know of its existence? Suffice it to say, it’s a preferred brand by many people, both young and old, and for good reasons. I like Starbucks (the company) because it has always been known to give back to our planet and the community. 

Starbucks is known for its commitment to ‘ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee.’ To date, it has more than 32,000 stores around the globe and is known as a premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. 

This time, Starbucks Philippines deserves a spotlight for championing sustainability and digital innovation as we all continuously move towards a more connected future. 

In a recent media gathering, the company unveiled its initiatives for this year and beyond by introducing new digital services and sustainability efforts to give back to the planet while also enhancing its customer experience.

A global business with a heart

It is admirable when a business that thrives globally advocates for sustainability and does its best to give back. Starbucks Philippines has been known to give back to the farmers that produce their quality handcrafted beverages, the communities that have been helping the business grow, and most especially to our planet. 

“For many years now, Starbucks Philippines has been partnering with a number of organizations and institutions who share the same ideals we have. We have been donating to several foundations as our way of sharing and giving back,” says Noey Lopez, President and CEO of Starbucks Philippines.

Suffice to say, it is in the DNA of the company to help and give back. Come Christmas, many of us look forward to their seasonal special beverages, and collect stickers to snag one or all of those sought-after Starbucks planners. It’s not just marketing strategy gone successful, it’s about getting to the heart of their customers and knowing what they want. It is through this that the company is able to create meaningful partnerships. 

Meaningful partnerships 

When Starbucks listens to their customers, they also find ways to reach out to them in an easy and convenient manner. By partnering with Grab and Lazada they are making it easy for customers to earn more rewards. 

Starting today, June 23, the integration of Starbucks Rewards with Grab and Lazada apps will allow customers to earn one Star for every P40 spent on Starbucks orders. Every 100 Stars collected converts to a free Starbucks beverage or food reward, redeemable in stores. For more information on how you can go about this, visit Starbucks Philippines’ website. Alternatively, go to your Grab and Lazada apps, and search for Starbucks to navigate the options. 

Starbucks’ FoodShare Program connects participating stores with Grab drivers to pickup and deliver food donations daily

“We thank our partners (Grab and Lazada) for their efforts in making this initiative a success. They are, indeed, a powerful tool for us in reaching to and connecting with our customers who are also part of their client base,” Lopez iterates. 

Gifting made easy 

For those who are unaware, the company also introduced eGifting through GLife and GrabGifts. This integration is a key next step for the company in social digital gifting for a more seamless connection and convenience for all its customers.

eGifting allows customers to digitally send Starbucks favorites to their friends and loved ones starting at P100 on GrabGifts, and P300 on GLife. eGifts from GLife can be used to pay in Starbucks stores while eGifts from GrabGifts can be used to purchase orders from Starbucks on GrabFood
Starbucks FoodShare Program

Aside from the above-mentioned programs and initiatives, the company also launched the Starbucks FoodShare Program in the Philippines last March. Through Starbucks’ ongoing partnership with Grab, participating stores can connect with Grab drivers to pick up and deliver food donations daily. The collected foods are then donated to Philippine Food Bank Foundation and distributed daily to its beneficiaries within Metro Manila.

eGifting allows customers to digitally send Starbucks favorites to their friends andloved ones

“It started with only 40 stores in Metro Manila. To date, the program has served over 50,000 meals from more than 200 stores. The company’s goal is to continuously expand the program to more stores outside Metro Manila and serve more communities,” says Jamie Silva, Senior Manager for Marketing, Digital Customer Experience & Loyalty at Starbucks Philippines.

“The idea is to do small, meaningful acts with big impact,” she adds.

Global Community Impact Grants

At the event, Lopez also talked about Starbucks’ commitment to help more people and communities. 

“The Starbucks Foundation commits a $30 million investment in the Global Community Impact Grants by 2030. These grants aim to support programs that create meaningful impact, both locally and regionally.

For Starbucks Philippines, a total of $70,000 in grants have been awarded to Gawad Kalinga, HOUSE Foundation, and Teach for the Philippines. These grants will be directed to hunger relief and youth development programs from 2nd half of 2022 to 1st half of 2023.

“We’re very grateful for the continued support our customers and media partners have given Starbucks Philippines. As we introduce more initiatives to enhance the Starbucks Experience, we look forward to collaboratively creating a better future for all,” Lopez said. 

Growing and evolving

Over the past decade, I have seen some big coffee companies (a few of them are successful and still remain in some parts of the world) come and go. Perhaps it’s not just about serving good coffee. No matter how exquisite and unique your coffee beverages are, or whether it’s a single origin or a mind-blowing blend, a third-wave coffee or what have you — your business needs to have a heart. It must be anchored on the core values that you, your company, and your employees embody. And this is what Starbucks has. 

When a coffee company that’s been there since 1971 continues to exist, grow, and make its partners and customers happy, it must be doing something right. To Starbucks Philippines: job well done! 

To share in the Starbucks experience, visit its stores or online at starbucks.ph/stories

For feedback, you may email the author at joba.botana@gmail.com.

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