Zero Grounds Coffee Campaign

Starbucks Hong Kong

Brand | Employee Experience | Public Affairs

Starbucks is committed to inspiring customers to create a positive change.  A series of engagement activities were launched to raise public awareness of coffee grounds upcycling, such as making used grounds available to customers in stores for free, interactive coffee grounds workshops for customers and urban farming for partners (employees) and local schools. Coffee grounds merchandise were launched to raise funds and campaign was amplified through media and bloggers.


Coffee is the most popular drink worldwide with over 400 billion cups consumed each year. Hong Kong loves its coffee. But what happens to the coffee grounds left over? Currently 93% of the grounds is being sent to landfill. Only 7% of them is recycled and reused. The wasted coffee grounds lead to a huge environmental problem – and it’s getting worse. 

Starbucks has always believed it can – and should – have a positive impact on the communities it serves. 

The campaign aimed at raising awareness of Starbucks coffee grounds upcycling, by inspiring clients to join the brand in giving back to the environment. 


Leverage the festive Christmas season – the time of year when gift-giving drives significant increases in unnecessary waste – to raise awareness of the issue of waste and Starbucks’ commitment to sustainability.
Focus our campaign on coffee grounds – the ingredient that Starbucks is famous for, and the core of its business. 
Give Hongkongers easy ways to take positive environmental impact and play a part in the campaign, including workshops and used grounds giveaways in-store.
Create a limited-edition merchandise range to show what’s possible with recycling and create the opportunity for Hongkongers to buy a thoughtful gift for loved ones. 


Starbucks sold unique branded merchandise like soap, candles, coasters all made from recycled coffee grounds. The proceeds of the sale went to the Zero Grounds Coffee Campaign by local NGO to support local coffee grounds recycle. 

They hosted coffee grounds workshops for employees, students, media, and influencers which included tree planting using recycled coffee grounds. Customers could collect recycled coffee grounds free of charge from Starbucks stores, to try their hand at crafting with coffee grounds and do their part in making Hong Kong green.


Starbucks received positive response from customers on the unique brand merchandise, all made from recycled coffee grounds. We received 160+ pieces of coverage in Hong Kong and across the region, along with HK$5,184,668 worth of earned media. Over 300 employees volunteered, which resulted in more than 1,000 hours spent to raise awareness about coffee grounds recycling and its creative uses.


Pieces of earned coverage


Earned media value across HK and the region


Volunteering hours by employees