Starbucks Moves Its Bottled Water Operations Out of California

July 7, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. stricken / strɪk ən / (adj.) – severely affected by something
Example:  The country has been drought-stricken for months now.

2. emergency / ɪˈmɜr dʒən si / (n.) – an unplanned and threatening situation that needs urgent action
Example: The fire exit can be used in cases of emergency.

3. operation / ˌɒp əˈreɪ ʃən / (n.) – a business or organization’s activity  
Example: The new company will start its operations next year.

4. severe / səˈvɪər / (adj.) – referring to something bad or serious
Example: The issue caused severe damage to the company’s image.

5. sanitation / ˌsæn ɪˈteɪ ʃən / (n.) – the process of keeping things clean
Example: Proper sanitation is required in all fast food chains.


Read the text below.
Starbucks will move its bottled water business from California to Pennsylvania [pen-suh l-VEYN-yuh].

An investigation by Mother Jones magazine reported that Ethos [EE-thos], Starbucks’s bottled water brand, is getting its water supply from a drought-stricken county in California. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Placer County, where Ethos operates, has been experiencing drought since 2012. Earlier this year, Placer County also officially announced a water shortage emergency.

Because of this report, Starbucks announced that it will move its Ethos operations to Pennsylvania over the next six months. During the process, Starbucks will also look into other sources and water suppliers to support its Ethos distribution in the US West Coast.

Moving the operations from California to Pennsylvania has caused worry among some people. This is because Pennsylvania also experiences drought, although not as severe as that in California. The Ethos supplier for the US East Coast is also already operating in Pennsylvania.

Starbucks bought Ethos in 2005, three years after the brand was founded. The brand aims to help fix the water global crisis by providing access to clean water.

Each bottle of Ethos water can be bought for $1.95. For each bottle purchased, five US cents goes to the Ethos Water Fund, which is part of the Starbucks Foundation. This fund is used to sustain water, sanitation, and hygiene education programs in water-stressed places. These places include Tanzania [tan-zuh-NEE-uh], Indonesia, Colombia, and other coffee-growing countries.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think moving its operations to a different state is a good decision by Starbucks? Why?
·         How do you think this issue will affect the sales of Ethos bottled water?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think some companies do not comply with environmental laws?
·         How should companies be punished for violating environmental laws?

July 7, 2015