Starbucks Remains One of the Most Ethical Companies

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Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) is more than just a ubiquitous and dependable place to get your daily cup of coffee. It has a role in driving positive change in the business community and societies around the world. Each year Ethisphere recognizes the world’s most ethical companies, and Starbucks has made the cut every year since the firm began publishing its list of honorees in 2007.

This year, Starbucks is in such august company as Ford, GE, Intel, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Target, T-Mobile and more than 100 others. Starbucks CEO and founder Howard Schultz is no stranger to activism. Earlier this year, in reaction to the new Trump refugee ban, the company said it will hire 10,000 refugees worldwide over the next five years. Schultz’s message to workers was titled “Living Our Values in Uncertain Times,” and it laid out several related initiatives, including supporting employee health benefits, despite attacks on Obamacare.

Starbucks also has a goal to hire 10,000 veterans and veteran spouses by 2018. Back in 2015, the company offered to pay for the college educations of the spouses and children of its employees who were veterans.

Schultz has never reacted to the question about whether his stances cost Starbucks customers. The rapidity of his response to a U.S. ban on refugees shows that he does not care about the customer issue, at least in this case.

While Schultz will soon depart the day-to-day operations as CEO of the company, he is set to become executive chairman, where he will focus on retail innovation and will accelerate the growth of Starbucks ultra-premium retail formats. He also will lead the company’s social impact initiatives.

As of April 3, 2017, Kevin Johnson, president and chief operating officer, will expand his responsibilities as president and chief executive officer. Johnson also has been a member of Starbucks’ board of directors for seven years.

Starbucks also made the 24/7 Wall St. customer service hall of fame. Not only was the high satisfaction of customers driven by product quality, the popular rewards loyalty system and comprehensive online engagement, but Starbucks also ranks high in satisfaction among its employees. Starbucks has one of the highest employee satisfaction scores of any company on Glassdoor.