Learning and innovation are top of mind for Starbucks, as evidenced by its most recent announcement. The foodservice chain will be developing a new sustainability learning and innovation lab at Hacienda Alsacia—the company’s global agronomy headquarters in Costa Rica. It will serve as a hub for hands-on and virtual learning opportunities to innovate and scale sustainable solutions for some of the world’s most challenging environmental and social issues.
“This is an opportunity for us to advance Starbucks’ environmental promise to give more than we take and our farmer promise to ensure the future of coffee for all,” said Laxman Narasimhan, Chief Executive Officer. “We know we cannot do this important work alone, and the possibilities in front of us to scale solutions, partner with thought leaders and serve as a global hub for innovation are limitless.”
Starting this fall, the lab will offer the first wave of educational programming to select Arizona State University (ASU) students and Starbucks partners, a press release stated. It will leverage ASU’s leading educational technology and world-class faculty to enrich the student experience, including study-abroad opportunities tied to existing ASU degree programs. Starbucks' lab is expected to open within the next three years.
The Hacienda Alsacia farm is dedicated exclusively to research and development, where the Starbucks team is creating new coffee varieties, testing disease-resistant coffee trees and developing and sharing agricultural practices. The lab will expand the capabilities and collaboration needed to cultivate positive social and environmental change beyond coffee.
Starbucks understands its future is inextricably tied to social and environmental challenges. The company has a long-standing commitment to working alongside communities to become a resource-positive company, including cutting its carbon, water, and waste footprints in half by 2030. The company is committed to identifying new ways to give more than it takes.
Starbucks and ASU have a long-standing partnership of working together to build educational and innovative programming, the release noted. Most recently, Starbucks and ASU reached a milestone of graduating more than 10,000 partners through the Starbucks College Achievement Program.
Cheers to learning and innovation!