Plant-Based Milk for All
Global food awareness organisation ProVeg International urges Starbucks to drop its surcharge on plant-based milks if the coffee chain is to hit its climate goals by 2030.
According to its new sustainability assessment, dairy products are the largest source of CO2 emission across Starbucks’ supply chain. And although soy milk is offered for free, other plant-based alternatives are subject to additional charge – ProVeg have called on Starbucks to change its policy following its announcement of aiming to cut carbon emissions, water use, and waste by 50 percent in the next ten years.
Starbucks’ climate targets have been set at a time when demand for plant-based products continues to skyrocket. In the UK, nearly 25 percent of the population is now drinking plant-based milks, up from 18 percent in 2018, while close to 400,000 people have signed up for this year’s Veganuary. Nevertheless, Starbucks was responsible for emitting 16 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2018 alone, 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.
‘Now we know that dairy products are Starbucks’ primary climate culprit, we encourage the chain to follow in the footsteps of its competitors Costa and Pret a Manger and drop the surcharge on plant-based milks. The same goes for other major coffee chains still charging extra for sustainable alternatives to cow’s milk,’ says Philip Mansbridge, Executive Director of ProVeg UK.
‘We were delighted to hear Starbucks’ ambitious environmental targets, which we’re sure can be achieved if plant-based milk is placed at the heart of the solution. Instead of charging customers for being climate-conscious, let’s incentivise them, starting by making the more sustainable alternative - plant milks - free of charge,’ Mansbridge adds.
ProVeg International has written to the President of Starbucks Europe, Middle East, and Africa to call for plant milks to be made free across the region. The food awareness organisation works closely with retailers, caterers, and the food service industry with the mission to reduce global animal consumption by 50 percent by the 2040, striving towards a world where we made mindful choices for all humans, animals, and the planet.