Starbucks 2010 Most Ethical Restaurant Starbucks Coffee Essay

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Starbucks Coffee Company was chosen Most Ethical Restaurant for 2010, according to strict screening methods and criteria (Ethisphere, 2010). These criteria were corporate citizenship and responsibility, corporate governance, innovation in public well-being, industry leadership, executive leadership, regulatory and reputation track record and internal systems and ethics or compliance program. Starbucks is the lone recipient of the award in the restaurant and cafe category (Ethisphere).

Company History

Starbucks Coffee Company started as a single an narrow store at the Pike Place Market in Seattle in 1971 (Starbucks, 2010). Its name was inspired from the novel, "Moby Dick," which describes the romance of the high seas and the traditions of the early coffee traders. From the start, the company offered and served some of the world's finest fresh-roasted whole bean coffees. Current chairman, president chief executive officer Howard Schultz first entered a Starbucks store in 1981 and sipped his first cup in Sumatra. He was drawn to it and joined it the following year. In 1983, he went to Italy and chanced upon Italian coffee bars and the romantic aspect of the coffee experience. He dreamed of bringing the Italian coffee house concept back to the United States. It would be a place where people could talk and come together as a community. It would be the third most preferred place to be next to home and work. Schultz left the company to put up his own Il Giornale coffee houses. But in August 1987, he returned to purchase Starbucks with assistance from local investors. At the outset, the company not only offered excellent coffee and its rich tradition but also a strong sense of connection. At present, it has more than 15,000 stores in 50 countries. It has gained the reputation as the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. It strives to express its heritage with every cup (Starbucks).

Starbucks and Society

It has consistently aimed at inspiring and nurturing the human spirit into a whole, a cup and a community all at the same time as its mission statement (Starbucks, 2010). The company operations are founded on the principles of the quality of its coffee, its partners, its customers, its stores, its neighborhood and its shareholders. It's company passion to ethically locate the finest coffee beans, carefully roast them, and help improve the lives of their growers. This is the company's constant and basic pursuit. People within the organization view themselves as partners with a common passion and goal. They observe diversity within the ranks so they can be themselves. Respect and dignity are their standard. They establish human connection with their customers even for a few moments, which start with perfectly made coffee. They make sure their customers get that sense of belonging the company endeavors to achieve at their stores. They envision these places as a respite from the pressures of the outside world. These are places meant for their enjoyment and full of humanity always. Every store is also part of a community for which the company takes serious responsibility. The company wants to be a force for positive action of bringing its partners, customers, and the community together. And it recognizes full accountability to its shareholders to put these principles to work so that the company may thrive and endure (Starbucks).

Stakeholders and Issues

The stakeholders are primarily Starbucks' employees, then the customers, shareholders, partner organizations, government organizations, non-government organizations focusing on social issues, university student organizations and academic institutions, regional community groups and the media (Reid, 2006). Shareholders comprise the socially responsible investment community. Partner organizations include licensed stores and food service accounts. Government organizations include the USAID and the national governments of coffee-grower countries, such as Costa Rica, Guatemala, Kenya, Nicaragua and Tanzania. Non-government organizations are those lobbying for social issues, such as human rights, social justice, environmental issues and microfinance. And university student organizations have been an influential audience. These stakeholders directly relate to Starbucks' organizational mission, goals and operations (Reid).

Issues include fair trade, shade grown and organic coffee, and overall supply chain transparency (Reid, 2006). The company must make sure it fulfills its commitment to buy coffee in a fair, transparent and equitable manner and makes it known and understood. It also needs to make sure its consumers welcome the coffee they are buying and consuming. The company needs to establish and maintain positive links with the other groups focusing on social justice and environmental issues, especially in coffee-growing countries. Good working relationships with them will insure a steady supply of high-quality coffee beans as well as protect company reputation and license to operate (Reid).

Business Ethics and Managing It

Starbucks Coffee Company believes that ethical business and doing the right thing important ingredients to its business success (Starbucks, 2010). The Company enforces this belief through its Business Ethics and Compliance program. The program supports the company mission and protects its culture and reputation. It does this by providing appropriate resources, which enable its partners to make ethical decisions at work. It produces and distributes awareness materials; facilitates legal compliance and conducts ethics training; investigates issues and conflicts; and provides links for partners' concerns. It encourages partners to communicate these issues and concerns through their chosen communication channel. At this time, reports received by the Business Ethics and Compliance program center on employee relations. Like the programs of other companies, this serves as an alternative reporting mechanism as a vital part of its comprehensive ethics and compliance policy (Starbucks).

Workplace Environment

Starbucks Coffee Company consistently practices equal opportunity in hiring employees, recruits entirely according to job-related criteria, and does not uphold forced labor (Starbucks, 2010). Managers comply with all legal requirements in employing partners under the age of 18, such as the number of hours of work and tasks performed. These requirements are meant to protect the employee's education, health, safety and mental or physical development. Company employees deal with one another with respect and dignity. This ensures an environment, which is free of harassment, bullying and discrimination. These behaviors may take the form of unwelcome remarks, gestures or physical contact; offensive communications, jokes or comments, verbal or physical abuse or threats (Starbucks).

Customer Relations

The company holds legendary customer service a top priority (Starbucks, 2010). Its employees strive to make every customer's experience pleasant, memorable and fulfilling. They treat customers with the same respect and dignity that they treat one another within the organization. They do not harass or discriminate against customers. It promotes diversity by respecting the unique abilities, strengths and differences of all people. It directly promotes diversity as a competitive business advantage. It views diversity as vital to its long-term success in every aspect. It is inherent in its total operation and the procurement of goods and services as it continues to grow. Its employees respect diversity among themselves, their customers, suppliers and others who interact with them. Starbucks Coffee Company aims at becoming the most inclusive company in the world, operating at full equity, inclusion and accessibility for all who come in contact with it (Starbucks).

The Company also takes steps to protect its customer's health and safety (Starbucks, 2010). It conducts all proper procedures for storage, handling, preparation and service of its coffee and other products. It insures clean, sanitary and safe conditions in all its facilities, standards and practices (Starbucks).

Workplace Health, Safety and Security

Starbucks employees follow all safety rules and practices of the company (Starbucks, 2010). They cooperate with officials who enforce these rules and practices. Employees take proper steps to protect themselves and one another. They attend required safety training and immediately report accidents, injuries, unsafe practices and other similar conditions (Starbucks).

Substance Abuse and Weapons

The Company strictly forbids employees from using or possessing alcoholic beverages within company premises, except when permitted during official social events (Starbucks, 2010). Those who are involved in the sale of alcohol are not allowed to consume it and required to undergo pertinent training for it. The Company also strictly prohibits the sale and possession of illegal drugs and other controlled substances within the premises or when conducting company business outside. Employees may not work under the influence of alcohol or any illegal drug or controlled substance. They are not allowed to own any weapon while working or conducting business at any Starbucks store, plat or property (Starbucks).

Rules on Wages and Hours

The Company pledges to follow all applicable wage and hour laws and regulations (Starbucks, 2010). This compliance assures that all employees and other business partners are correctly compensated. For their part, employees report for work and record time accurately according to established local procedure. The Company complies with the laws, rules and regulations of the country in which it operates (Starbucks).

International Business

The company lives by the same and highest ethical standards in all its business transactions and relationships everywhere else (Starbucks, 2010). It complies with the applicable laws, rules and regulations covering business in the countries where it operates stores. It…

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