Starbucks Ethical Dilemmas

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Generally, Starbucks is viewed in an in a positive light, however they have made a few decisions that were unethical behind the eyes of public. One of the faulty decisions that Starbucks made was when they implemented a policy of “keeping a tap running non-stop.” (Balakrishnan) Because of this policy, they wasted over 6 million gallons of water every day. This amount of water could have helped millions of people in third world countries as having access to clean drinking water is a major concern. Additionally, many countries were facing drought, and Starbucks was just wasting the water down the drain. When questioned about this practice, Starbucks response was that they leave the water on for hygienic reason, however this was illogical because the tap water that was left on was primarily used for washing utensils, so they would have to use dish soap anyways. On the other hand, if it was used for only a quick wash of the utensils, they could have implemented a motion sensor tap so it turns on only when the employees needed it. This decision was extremely neglectful, however after public outcry, they implemented steps to decrease water usage. Since this practice was exposed in 2008, they have reduced their consumption by 17.6 percent in 2011. The reduction is due to implementation of “hand-metered water system” and “low-use water faucet[s].” (Starbucks)
Another unethical decision that Starbucks made was when they exploited their coffee farmers. In 2005, Ethiopia filed for a

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