Starbucks

Teavana
Seattle, Washington
Food Beverage and Tobacco

Corporate Bias Rating

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Risk Level:

Rating - Danger
High Risk

Summary:

Starbucks, a coffeehouse chain, fired an employee in 2020 for refusing to wear a Pride t-shirt because it went against her religious beliefs. Starbucks scored a 100 on the 2023 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a political stakeholder group. By complying with the HRC’s controversial demands, Starbucks increases the risk of dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. It also uses sex and gender ideology criteria in employee recruitment, vendor selection, marketing, and philanthropic support. Starbucks forces employees to undergo multiple ideological trainings and uses its reputation, corporate funds, and political influence to support controversial sex and gender ideologies, organizations, and legislation. The company provides a benefits package for employees which covers travel/lodging costs for an abortion and transgender medical procedures for covered employees and dependents, including children. Starbucks discriminates against religious nonprofits and uses the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to vet charities. Starbucks is a Silver sponsor of the HRC and funds Planned Parenthood. The company is a Ceres Network Member, committed to carbon neutrality by 2040. Starbucks supports the Equality Act. America First Legal filed a letter with the EEOC requesting a civil rights investigation into Starbucks over discriminatory practices in hiring. The company mandated racial bias training for all its employees and its CEO is a member of the Business Roundtable. The company opposed various state and local legislation intended to protect parental rights, girls’ sports, bathroom facilities, and gendered spaces. For these reasons, Starbucks receives a High Risk rating.

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Board Bias

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CEO of Starbucks

Laxman Narasimhan

Laxman Narasimhan

Summary:

Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Starbucks is a member of the Fortune 250 operating in the Food Beverage and Tobacco industry. Laxman Narasimhan and Mellody Hobson serve as CEO/President and Chairman, respectively, leading the company’s C-suite executive team and the board of directors. Amongst these teams, the collective leadership is responsible for $75,600 to Republican causes and $2,738,535 to Democratic causes. Under their tenure, Starbucks currently holds a 'High Risk' risk rating.

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Political Contributions of Leadership:

$75,600

$2,738,535

Republican

Democrat

Shareholder Proposals

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Date
ESG Category
Proponent
Summary of ResolutionMgmt RecTotal Vote % in Favor
3/13/24SocialNational Legal and Policy CenterReport on Human Rights PoliciesAgainst0.00%
3/13/24SocialNational Legal and Policy CenterReport on Direct and Systemic DiscriminationAgainst0.00%
3/13/24EnvironmentalPeople for the Ethical Treatment of AnimalsReport on Plant-based Milk PricingAgainst0.00%
3/23/23GovernanceTrilliumAssessment of Worker Rights CommitmentsFor51.40%
3/23/23GovernanceSOC Investment Group and Leah MartinCreate a CEO Succession Planning Policy AmendmentAgainst20.90%
3/23/23EnvironmentalPETACreate a Report on Plant-Based Milk PricingAgainst5.30%
3/23/23SocialNational Legal and Policy Center Annual Reports on Company Operations in ChinaAgainst4.40%
3/23/23EnvironmentalNational Center for Public Policy ResearchCreation of Board Committee on Corporate SustainabilityAgainst2.70%
3/16/22SocialNew York State Common Retirement FundReport on Prevention of Workplace Harassment & DiscriminationAgainst32.05%
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