Starbucks Opens ‘Green’ Roasting Plant
Seattle Starbucks Corp. said Thursday it opened a new roasting plant in South Carolina that meets a standard for green design.
The new plant, located in Calhoun County, will employ 100 full-time workers and will supply coffee to stores in the Southeast.
Starbucks said it has been awarded LEED certification for new construction by the U.S. Green Building Council. The certification is awarded to projects that use green design elements to reduce energy and waste.
The company said 20% of the plant’s building materials were from recycled content and more than 75% of construction waste was recycled. A portion of the power used to operate the plant will be supplied by wind energy.
Starbucks has said it will get LEED certification for all new company-operated stores by the end of 2010.
Walmart launches money management services
BENTONVILLE, Ark. Walmart has introduced a new program called “Operation Main Street: Money Management” to provide financial services for underserved Americans.
“Now more than ever, our customers continue to trust Walmart to do what we do best — save them money on the products and services they need everyday,” said Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman Wal-Mart Stores. “Financial issues are the number one concern for our customers, and accelerating our efforts to provide affordable financial services will help them live better.”
Walmart is now offering the Walmart MoneyCard, a reloadable, pre-paid Visa debit card, for only $3. The new $3 purchase price will provide the more than 35 million American families underserved by traditional financial institutions many of the advantages of a checking account, including depositing their paychecks on a safe and secure card, checking their balances, paying bills and shopping anywhere Visa debit is accepted. The Walmart MoneyCard is now expected to save customers $50 million annually compared to similar cards. In addition, the card has no overdraft fees.
Walmart is working with Visa to make financial literacy tools available to customers nationwide. Available at www.walmartstores.com/moneymanagement ,Visa’s Practical Money Skills for Life is a comprehensive program designed to help consumers manage their money wisely.
In addition, Walmart is bringing financial experts to select stores to provide expert advice and give customers the tools they need to manage their money. Best-selling author of Girl, Get Your Money Straight!, Glinda Bridgforth, and Univision’s financial expert, Julie Stav will meet with customers in Walmart MoneyCenters in Atlanta and Houston respectively, to showcase their top money management tips.
Walmart will also begin offering its 1.4 million U.S. associates a special Associate value. Associates will receive a credit of the initial $3 purchase fee for the Walmart MoneyCard, no monthly fee, and free direct deposit reloads when they sign up for Walmart direct deposit. The company expects this new offering to make managing finances easier for associates who do not use a bank account. Walmart already waives the fee for the hundreds of thousands of paper checks it cashes for its associates every payday.
Best Buy expands recycling program to all stores
MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy announced that it is now offering its electronics recycling program at all of its 1,006 stores nationwide. Consumers can bring up to two (2) units per day, per household, for recycling at any U.S. Best Buy store.
Best Buy will accept most consumer electronics, including televisions and monitors up to 32”, computer CPUs and notebooks, small electronics, VCR and DVD players, and phones, as well as accessories such as keyboards, mice, and remotes.
A $10 recycling fee per unit will be charged for items with screens, such as televisions, laptop computers, and monitors. The consumer will instantly receive a $10 Best Buy gift card in exchange for the recycling fee. (This fee does not apply for units recycled in California stores, and does not apply for any of Best Buy’s Exclusive-Branded products, such as Insignia, Dynex, and VPR Matrix.)