Starbucks' Company Mission Statement

Acup of coffee
MakiEni's photo/Moment/Getty Images

The company mission statement (CMS) of Starbucks, the world's largest operator of coffee houses, is about more than just coffee. According to its website, the company's mission is: "To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time."

The Starbucks website also presents the following statement of values:

With our partners, our coffee, and our customers at our core, we live these values:

  •       Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.
  •       Acting with courage, challenging the status quo, and finding new ways to grow our company and each other.
  •       Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity, and respect.
  •       Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.

We are performance driven, through the lens of humanity.

A Prior CMS and Six Guiding Principles

An earlier version of Starbucks' corporate mission statement can be found in its fiscal 2003 annual report on corporate social responsibility titled "Living Our Values," along with the "guiding principles" that would help the company make the right decisions:


To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles as we grow.

The following six Guiding Principles will help us measure the appropriateness of our decisions:

 • Provide a great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity.

 • Embrace diversity as an essential component in the way we do business.

 • Apply the highest standards of excellence to the purchasing, roasting, and fresh delivery of our coffee.

 • Develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time.

 • Contribute positively to our communities and our environment.

 • Recognize that profitability is essential to our future success.

Sustainability and Pay Equity

According to the company's 2017 social impact report, Starbucks' coffee has been 99 percent ethically sourced since 2015. The company said it's committed to making coffee the first sustainable agricultural product.

In the same report, the company said it had built more than 1,500 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design–certified stores in 20 countries, including at least one in all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. It also plans to double the recycled content in and the recyclability and reusability of its cups by 2022.

In March 2018, Starbucks said it had achieved 100 percent pay equity for all of its U.S. employees who had the same role, regardless of their gender, race, or ethnicity.

A Shared Purpose

In a 2013 Harvard Business Review article about CMSs, Mark Bonchek favorably compared Starbucks' current CMS with that of another company that sells a lot of coffee: Dunkin' Donuts (which is rebranding itself as just Dunkin').

Dunkin's CMS at that time was: "Make and serve the freshest, most delicious coffee and donuts quickly and courteously in modern, well-merchandised stores."

Starbucks' CMS was better, Bonchek wrote, because it created a shared purpose between customers and the company. "Dunkin Donuts’ purpose is clearly for customers, and it delivers on this purpose exceedingly well," he wrote. "But there is something different about Starbucks’ purpose. It is a purpose that is achieved with its customers."