Starbucks to open sustainability learning and innovation lab

Starbucks Vietnam

Starbucks has announced plans to develop a new sustainability learning and innovation lab at Hacienda Alsacia, the company’s global agronomy headquarters for research and development, located in Costa Rica.

The lab will serve as a hub for hands-on and virtual learning opportunities for Starbucks employees, students, researchers, and industry leaders to innovate and scale sustainable solutions for some of the world’s most challenging environmental and social issues, including climate adaption and agricultural economics.

“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,” says Laxman Narasimhan, Starbucks CEO. “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. The first wave 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, such as Sustainability, Sustainable Food Systems, Global Agribusiness, Environmental and Resource Management, among others. Starbucks’ lab is expected to physically open within the next three years.

For more than a decade, Hacienda Alsacia, the company’s first and only company-owned and operated coffee farm, has focused on the sustainability of coffee. The 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 to produce a higher yield and ensure the future of coffee. While the research and development at Hacienda Alsacia will continue, the lab will expand the capabilities and collaboration needed to cultivate positive social and environmental change beyond coffee.

“This is an exciting new chapter in our nearly decade-long partnership with Starbucks,” says ASU President Michael Crow. “The new sustainability learning and innovation lab will expand on our collaboration together, working closely to tackle critical challenges with a collective commitment to seek new and sustainable approaches that impact global communities.”

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