In a classic example of how small changes can add up to a big difference, Starbucks Coffee Company can expect to save millions of dollars in operational costs by switching to LED lighting in 7,000 of its stores in Canada and the United States. With Starbucks replacing the incandescent and halogen light bulbs in its North American stores, it expects to slash its energy consumption from lighting by 80 percent!
- Each 1,000 square foot store will save $600 a year in electricity bills (that’s $600 times 7,000 stores)
- Replacing the lightbulbs with LED lighting will save enough energy to reduce CO2 emissions by 10 barrels of oil – per store!
- The total energy consumption of each Starbucks store is reduced by 7% as a result of the new LED lighting
Starbucks installed LED lights throughout its stores’ sitting and beverage areas. In the rest of the store (bathrooms, storage rooms, etc.), incandescent bulbs were replaced with CFL lights.
But just how many Starbucks executives does it take to change a light bulb? Why is this such a big deal?
To start with, Starbucks prides itself on its inviting atmosphere, of which lighting is a key element. Energy-hogging incandescent bulbs give off a soft glow, and Starbucks – while wanting to go green – didn’t want headlights scaring off loyal customers. So Starbucks partnered with General Electric to create an energy efficient light bulb that gave a soft glow, put out ample light, sipped electricity and could also fit existing lighting fixtures.
Sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? But the GE-Starbucks partnership is working out as smoothly as a caramel latte. According to Jim Hanna, Director of Environmental Impact for Starbucks: