Corprate Bias Ratings
Starbucks, a coffeehouse chain, fired an employee in 2020 for refusing to wear a Pride t-shirt because it went against her religious beliefs. The company vets vendors according to LGBTQ policies and does not provide viewpoint protections for its employees. Starbucks covers the cost of "medically necessary transition-related care” for its employees and their children. The company discriminates against religious nonprofits and uses the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to vet charities. Starbucks is a corporate partner of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and funds Planned Parenthood. The company provides abortion travel benefits for its employees and is a Ceres Network Member, committed to carbon neutrality by 2040. Starbucks supports the Equality Act and opposed anti-LGBTQ legislation. The company mandated racial bias training for all its employees and its CEO is a member of the Business Roundtable. For these reasons, Starbucks receives a High Risk rating.
Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.
Starbucks fired an employee in 2020 for refusing to wear a Pride t-shirt because it went against her religious beliefs (1). The company received a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index. Among other requirements, this means Starbucks has a written policy pledging to vet vendors for LGBTQ policies (2)(3).
Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.
Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.
Starbucks reversed its company policy allowing employees to wear Black Lives Matter t-shirts and pins on their uniforms after initially not allowing employees to do so (1). The company signed an open letter in support of the Equality Act and supported revisions to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in the wake of state election security laws (2)(3). In 2015, the company encouraged its 12,000 baristas to strike up conversations with customers about racism (4)(5). The company’s former CEO denounced the 2015 NC bathroom bill requiring citizens to use the restroom of their biological gender and pushed for bathrooms to correspond with gender identity (6)(7)(8). In 2018, Starbucks closed over 8,000 locations to give over 175,000 employees implicit bias training regarding race and gender (9). Starbucks CEO is a member of the Business Roundtable, but has not supported ideological initiatives (10). The company is a Ceres Network Member, committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2040 (11)(12).
Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.
Starbucks sponsors multiple Planned Parenthood facilities and provides travel benefits for abortion as well as “gender affirming” surgeries for employees (1)(2)(3). The company has a perfect score on the HRC’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index. This score indicates the company covers the cost of “medically necessary transition-related care” for its employees and their children (4)(5). Starbucks is a bronze partner of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and has pledged over $1 million to BLM-adjacent organizations (6)(7)(8).
All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
December 7, 2023
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|Date||ESG Category||Proponent||Summary of Resolution||Mgmt Rec||Total Vote % in Favor|
|3/23/23||Governance||Trillium||Assessment of Worker Rights Commitments||For||51.40%|
|3/23/23||Governance||SOC Investment Group and Leah Martin||Create a CEO Succession Planning Policy Amendment||Against||20.90%|
|3/23/23||Environmental||PETA||Create a Report on Plant-Based Milk Pricing||Against||5.30%|
|3/23/23||Social||National Legal and Policy Center||Annual Reports on Company Operations in China||Against||4.40%|
|3/23/23||Environmental||National Center for Public Policy Research||Creation of Board Committee on Corporate Sustainability||Against||2.70%|
|3/16/22||Social||New York State Common Retirement Fund||Report on Prevention of Workplace Harassment & Discrimination||Against||32.05%|