Business or person, everyone should be thinking of these ethics. Yes it is the people behind the business that make the decisions not the business itself but when you walk down the street and see a coffee shop you see it for what it is. If the businesses code of ethics is throughout the franchises then the brand becomes what people talk about "Ive always had a great time at starbucks, no matter which one i go to"
I think all people no matter what affiliation should make business decisions based on morals and ethics, what else would you make decisions based on, profits? That would be a horrible situation and most likely put people in situations where they would lie, cheat and steal. I think ethical decisions should be a large part of businesses.
Any corporation, such as Starbucks, is a business that interacts with the public in some way. The foundation of a business that isn't built on ethics or a proper value system will find itself dealing with a poor reputation, which will affect the success of that business. Decisions that affect not only the plans of the company, but also of the employees and its consumers should be made with their well-being in mind.
I believe every corporation, regardless of their size, must not detach their business decisions from moral and ethical code of conduct. Consumers of every business may belong to any race or religion and corporations must respect every one's values and ensure their actions do not hurt anyone as it will impact their business in long term. Moral and ethical values must never be sidelined for profits.
Corporations are not people and Starbucks is not a person. A company cannot have "morals or ethics." The CEO can, the management can, and the employees can, but Starbucks itself cannot. Since Starbucks is not one person it cannot possibly represent the political or religious feelings of all of its employees. It is best for Starbucks to do what it does best, make and sell coffee.
As a business Starbucks, and for that matter any company, has the obligation to make money. If ethics and morals would counteract that, than, as a business, Starbucks would be wrong to follow to ethics. Individuals within the company can have their own ethics and that may influence the company, but as a business, these ethics should be disregarded if said disregarding does not conflict with morals. Morals/ethics can guide a corporation and should be used to figure out what boundaries not to cross but the main goal of a corporation is money, hence profit should be what corporations make business decisions on.
Society benefits most when everybody acts according to their own self interests. Businesses have a moral obligation to be as profitable as possible. Certainly they have other moral and ethical obligations but these should not be their top priority. Their top priority is taking care of their customers, and stake holders (also shareholders but not limited to).