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Starbucks to Pit Stores Against Each Other to Save Energy

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Photo: wonderlane / Flickr

Ten Washington state Starbucks are about to get a little dimmer as the coffee house chain launches a trial program to get employees to think about energy efficiency. The participating locations will attempt to reduce energy consumption, which will be monitored via a tablet program on display over the next 30 days. The store which manages to reduce its power the most will be rewarded with "some sort of a party." Laptop squatters, prepare to migrate elsewhere, because odds are step one is cutting off your supply.

Starbucks' director of environmental stewardship (Starbucks has a director of environmental stewardship) says the contest is part of a plan "to [reduce] energy and water use in company-owned stores by 25 percent by 2015." Sounds good. But how does going into the K-cup business fit into that whole scheme, again? And what happened to the plan to reuse or recycle all cups by 2015? Oh well, here's a press release about the contest:

10 Starbucks stores to use Lucid’s Building Dashboard® platform to promote employee behavior change through real-time energy usage information.

Oakland, CA (PRWEB) July 31, 2012

Lucid, innovator and pioneer provider of real-time feedback technology for buildings, is spearheading a study of resource consumption and behavior change with Starbucks Coffee Company. Developed in conjunction with the Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) and Portland Energy Conservation Inc. (PECI), the pilot project will be hosted by 10 Starbucks stores in Snohomish County, and will serve to test and document measurable energy savings in retail locations.

The program encourages Starbucks employees to identify conservation strategies that will reduce the amount of energy required to run their stores while not impacting customer service. The pilot project, funded in part by a grant from the Bonneville Power Administration, will evaluate energy savings derived by providing energy use data to employees, coupled with friendly competition among stores.

The pilot pairs a 30-day competition among 10 Starbucks stores with Lucid’s Building Dashboard® platform to promote behavior change through real-time energy usage information, employee engagement and focused energy savings strategies. It complements a broad range of energy efficiency and sustainability goals embraced by Starbucks throughout its retail locations.

“Lucid looks forward to working with the project team to quantify the impact that real-time resource-use feedback can have on the retail environment,” said Michael Murray, Lucid’s chief executive. “We hope the measurement and verification process that is developed during this pilot will demonstrate that behavior change can provide significant and persistent energy savings in buildings. In the future we hope to see other utilities implement behavior-based energy efficiency programs.”

For Starbucks, the pilot continues its leadership around conservation. “We have committed to reducing energy and water use in company-owned stores by 25 percent by 2015,” said Jim Hanna, director, environmental stewardship at Starbucks. “This pilot project demonstrates our ongoing desire to meet our customers’ expectations of providing a premium experience while at the same time constantly evaluating our environmental performance.”

The pilot will run for at least one year. In September, 2011, BPA issued a funding opportunity for behavior-based efficiency pilot programs because of significant energy savings potential from behavior change, calling the potential “too significant to ignore.”

· Lucid Promotes Employee Behavior Change Through Energy Competition in Retail Coffee Stores [Press Release via Starbucks Gossip]
· All Starbucks Coverage on Eater [-E-]