Cannes Lions

The Grande Good Cup


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At Starbucks, we live by our mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

A strong model for corporate climate leadership, Starbucks has developed clear and ambitious targets that prioritize sustainability from farmer to customer. As the world’s largest coffee chain, we recognize the responsibility to give more than we take from the planet. So, on our 50th anniversary, we pledged to be a resource positive company and to reduce our carbon, water, and waste by 50% by 2030.

In APAC however, awareness of our sustainability efforts was still low. Beyond communicating these goals, we knew we had to tackle one of the industry’s biggest challenges—the single-use cup. But we couldn’t do this alone. We needed our customers and partners to shift towards both the mass adoption of reusables and long-term sustainable behavior.


For our 50th anniversary, we developed the platform ‘Together for Better’, an invitation for everyone to join our pursuit of mutual thriving through the convening power of a cup. Designed with a visual language inspired by our communities, it was incorporated into all our campaign's initiatives throughout the year.

At the core, was a purposefully-developed reusable cup, designed with circularity and end-of-life consideration. Ensuring that it could be recycled efficiently after reuse was important to reduce environmental impact. These highly desirable limited-edition reusable cups also generated mass awareness and support towards our sustainability goals.

With many customers across APAC enjoying their favorite beverage on-the-go, we wanted to encourage customers to make positive changes, helping reusables become a regular part of the Starbucks Experience.


Our findings showed that people have a newfound appreciation for what’s happening in the neighborhoods around them and are willing to sacrifice convenience for the betterment of their communities, accelerated by the fall of globalization and the increased awareness of our planet desperately needing to heal, both largely due to the effects of the pandemic.

With this rising sense of collectivism across communities around the world, we envisioned our 50th anniversary as a call-to-action, for everyone. To achieve true behavioral change, we employed a customer behavior migration strategy. Our approach set out to inspire action, making reusables accessible, as well as incentivizing change through positive reinforcement.

Our goal was to create a cultural movement with impact that lasts by encouraging a culture of reuse amongst our customers (in APAC, aged 18-40), partners (employees) and communities, bringing them together around a shared desire to do more for the planet.


Across the region, Starbucks partners took part in training activities, empowering them to promote sustainability in stores. On 28th September 2021, we launched Reusable Cup Day, where every order across APAC was served in our free, 50th anniversary reusable cup.

This wasn’t a promotion, but a gift to our customers and an invitation to join us in this resource-positive journey. Beyond this day, customers were encouraged to bring back their cups to enjoy benefits like increased discounts and bonus stars in our rewards program.

Our communities showed up and shared their enthusiasm through UGC, celebrity, KOL, and partner (barista) support in over 3,700 stores across APAC. We also shared our message through a brand video and various social content about our continued commitment to sustainability, like ethical sourcing and C.A.F.E. (coffee and farmer equity) Practices, creating more inclusive communities, empowering women, and opening LEED-certified stores.


A massive success with real impact – within a day, we saved over 2.39 million single-use cups across APAC. With one cup replacing up to 30 single-use cups, they would go on to save over 69.31 million more single-use cups throughout the product life-cycle.

Most importantly, the positive change in customer behavior continues to be seen through the increased usage of reusables post-campaign, with a growing interest in continuing to use reusables for the long-term. In South Korea, Starbucks has pledged to eliminate all single-use cups by 2025 and is now introducing cup circularity programs across the market.

While ‘Together for Better’ was created for the APAC region, our platform was even adopted by LAC and EMEA markets, starting a global movement to do better together. Though this was just a start with much more to be done, we showed that one day, one cup can make a difference.

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