Walgreens Boots Alliance Remains Committed to Reducing Emissions and Collaborating for a Healthy Planet
At this time of a global pandemic and sense of injustice felt by so many in the U.S., health, safety and supporting our communities are top priorities for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), a leading global pharmacy retailer and wholesaler. The vast impact of these events reminds us how interconnected we all are around the planet and highlights the need for collaboration to tackle major issues.
World Environment Day 2020, an annual United Nations observance day, is an opportunity to reflect on all of those bigger issues, such as climate change, plastics waste and overall waste reduction, which remain an important part of the WBA sustainability agenda.
WBA has three Health Planet commitments, developed through consultations with a wide network of stakeholders, including customers, non-profit organizations, suppliers and government agencies. They are as follows:
- Reduce energy consumption and emissions;
- Reduce waste, increasing re-use and recycling and collaborating to help create an increasingly circular economy;
- Reduce the negative impacts of plastics in our owned brand products.
- WBA emissions from energy, excluding acquired Rite Aid stores in the U.S., decreased by 7 percent in fiscal 2019 (the 12 months that ended Aug. 31, 2019) compared with the previous year. Emissions from product delivery and business travel also came down.
- Our Boots UK and Walgreens businesses made significant investments in energy efficiency in fiscal 2019.
- Our businesses in Norway and Spain are certified for purchasing 100 percent renewable energy for electricity and our businesses in the Republic of Ireland and the UK purchase mostly certified renewable power.
- As of Aug. 31, 2019, Walgreens had completed 80 percent of its goal to reduce energy intensity by 20 percent across 100 million square feet of real estate by 2020, from fiscal 2011.
- Boots UK achieved an 18 percent decrease in food waste in 2018 compared with 2015.
- WBA has improved its overall recycling rate over a number of years.
- Walgreens distribution centers diverted 94 percent of waste from landfill in fiscal 2019, through an ongoing zero waste to landfill program.
- Boots Opticians partnered with Johnson & Johnson Vision and TerraCycle to offer the UK’s first nationwide in-store contact lens recycling program, collecting tons of plastic waste for recycling.
- Boots UK transitioned from plastic shopping bags to more sustainable alternatives made from 100 percent FSC-certified paper.
- Walgreens is a founding retail partner of Loop, a state of the art circular shopping system.
- Walgreens diverts millions of pounds of products from landfills across the U.S. every year through donations to Feeding America.
- The Boots UK Covent Garden flagship store opened in 2019, featuring the next wave in eco-friendly store and product solutions. Take a video tour here.
- Boots removed 149 metric tonnes of plastic from its owned brand gift range for Christmas 2019.
- Boots baby wipes are now plastic free, and Boots also launched biodegradable and plastic-free face and hand wipes in April.
We are proud of our continued progress in these areas and look forward to sharing further updates in our next sustainability report.