Starbucks China has inaugurated its Coffee Innovation Park (CIP) in the city of Kunshan, near Shanghai.

The company claims that this is the most energy-efficient and sustainable coffee manufacturing and distribution facility globally.

The 80,000m² CIP features a roasting plant, an integrated distribution centre (IDC) and an immersive experience centre.

Starbucks has invested approximately 1.5bn yuan ($220m), which is considered to be its largest investment outside of the US.

At this location, Starbucks will import Arabica green beans for roasting, packaging, storage and distribution. The brand will also use the site to demonstrate the ‘bean-to-cup’ coffee journey to visitors and offer training.

The new centre will supply all Starbucks locations in China and use eco-friendly solutions to blend and roast the beans sourced from more than 30 countries worldwide, including China.

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CIP will serve as the centre for Starbucks China’s distribution network, supplying freshly roasted coffee to thousands of Starbucks stores in the region.

The coffee company stated that it will help speed up production innovation, enabling it to produce quality coffee tailored to the country. CIP will utilise automation technologies to manage more than 90% of its volume.

A 34m-high fully automated storage and retrieval system has been installed at the site, enabling the centre to save six times more space than a typical Starbucks warehouse.

Besides, almost 20% of the centre’s energy requirements will be covered by more than 26,000m² of solar panels and 90% of the waste from the facility will be recycled annually.

Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan said: “As one of the largest consumer markets in the world, China presents tremendous opportunities for Starbucks. The Coffee Innovation Park highlights Starbucks’s foresight in elevating the supply chain through digitalisation and advancing our sustainability agenda, enhancing our unique competitive advantage as we accelerate our global growth.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the China team’s visionary thinking. As Starbucks’s largest and fastest-growing international market, we will continue to deepen our investment and reinforce our unwavering long-term commitment to the China market.”