Starbucks has unveiled plans to develop a sustainability learning and innovation laboratory at Hacienda Alsacia in Costa Rica. Hacienda Alsacia is Starbucks’ global agronomy headquarters for research and development and the company’s first and only company-owned and operated coffee farm.
Starbucks said the lab will serve as a hub for hands-on and virtual learning opportunities involving environmental and social issues for its employees, students, researchers and industry leaders.
Select students from Arizona State University are expected to join Starbucks’ employees in the first wave of educational programming at the lab later this fall, the company said. Study abroad opportunities will be tied to existing ASU degree programs, such as sustainability, sustainable food systems, global agribusiness, environmental and resource management, Starbucks said.
Starbucks and ASU previously worked together to graduate more than 10,000 employees through the Starbucks College Achievement Program.
“This is an exciting new chapter in our nearly decade-long partnership with Starbucks,’’ said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University. “The new sustainability learning and innovation lab will expand on our collaboration together, working closely to tackle critical challenges with a collective commitment to seek new and sustainable approaches that impact global communities.”
The Hacienda Alsacia lab is expected to officially open within the next three years.“This is an opportunity for us to advance Starbucks environmental promise to give more than we take and our farmer promise to ensure the future of coffee for all,” said Laxman Narasimhan, chief executive officer at Starbucks. “We know we cannot do this important work alone, and the possibilities in front of us to scale solutions, partner with thought leaders and serve as a global hub for innovation are limitless.”