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Coffee giant strong on renewables



Starbucks has invested in a solar farm in North Carolina as part of its ongoing commitment to renewable energy.

The NC-47 facility, which has 149,000 solar panels, will be fully operational from the middle of next month “delivering the clean energy equivalent to the electricity powering 600 Starbucks stores in North Carolina, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.,” Starbucks said in a statement.

In 2015 Starbucks achieved its goal of powering its ‘global company-operated stores’ with electricity drawn from 100% renewable sources.

Patrick Leonard, who sources renewable energy for Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada, said: “The corporate sector is driving the conversation at the moment, which is a very interesting dynamic. We’re happy to partner with utilities to do this but we now also have options to engage with projects directly. For a company like Starbucks and some of the tech companies that use a lot of energy, to be able to source their needs in a positive way is a win-win. It’s also a way we can demonstrate our values.

“The investment in North Carolina has been a pilot for us. We have to test and learn. Then the goal is to take what we’ve learned and do more.”

Sam Kimmins, the head of RE100 – an initiative of the world’s most influential companies, committed to 100% renewable power – hailed the company for its efforts.

“Their dynamic, collaborative and innovative approach is setting an example for businesses and utilities across America while showing millions of customers that Starbucks is serious about slowing climate change,” said Kimmins.


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