Starbucks is going to start recycling its coffee grounds and unsold food items in various ways. This is not something that anybody that harps about sustainability (what that actually means) could or would have predicted. The result of SBUX’s action is likely that all sorts of other unforeseen things will happen, many of which are likely to be good for the environment. To be “sustainable” SBUX had to do something that was decidedly not “sustainable”: it had to innovate. Had SBUX merely continued doing what it had been doing, but doing it “sustainably”, it would not have (indeed, could not have by definition) done this other environmentally friendly (“sustainable”?) thing.

Everything about sustainability is contradictory. I have no idea what this concept means. Somebody please explain it to me!

-JD Cross