We are proud to be a vital part of the solution to bring the pandemic to an end as we support vaccine education, distribution and administration. Our role as part of communities and patient-care teams has never been more clear.
As a leading global pharmacy retailer and distributor that provides an essential public service, it is our responsibility and a business imperative to operate sustainably for people and the planet at all times, but especially in times of crisis. This unprecedented and ongoing emergency has given us an opportunity to reinforce ourselves as a caring corporate citizen and we are emerging even more resilient for the future. Throughout the pandemic we have listened to our stakeholders, including customers and patients, our valued employees and our business partners.
"It is our responsibility and a business imperative to operate sustainably for people and the planet at all times, but especially in times of crisis."
Examples of our response to their evolving needs include: partnering with government agencies and businesses to implement COVID-19 testing, enhancing workplace safety and flexibility, waiving fees for medication delivery in certain markets and expanding online shopping and pick-up options.
Another focus during fiscal 2020 has been racial equity, as communities across the U.S. and around the world press for progress on this issue. We responded by making clear that our company values racial justice, listening to our diverse employees regarding their needs and bolstering our already robust diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Our board of directors has increased its own diversity and the board’s Compensation and Leadership Committee has approved linking a portion of incentive pay to performance on our DEI goals.
Our pharmacies are embedded in diverse communities and we work to address healthcare disparities such as access, affordability and quality of service that most often affect people who live in underserved areas. The urgent issues of the past year have underlined the importance of sustainability for all enterprises and have reinforced our healthcare-centric Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, which is aligned with our business, our expertise and our area of influence.
By consistently responding to social and environmental needs in an accountable way over a number of years, and through strong CSR governance, we believe we are creating long-term value for our investors, customers, patients, employees and for society at large. WBA joined the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index in 2020, a recognition of the company’s outstanding performance in corporate sustainability. We partner with an array of organizations to maximize our positive impact and our influence for good. In 2020, we joined the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), a voluntary leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible business practices. We look forward to continuing to align our operations and strategies with the UNGC principles and to furthering our action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We are pleased to report our ongoing progress on our sustainability commitments in our 2020 CSR Report including updates on our initiatives and our performance.
As the company announced on Jan. 26, Rosalind (Roz) Brewer has been appointed as WBA’s new chief executive officer, effective on March 15, 2021. We look forward to her contributions to running a sustainable enterprise. As both of us transition into new roles on the board, we anticipate continuing to prioritize this agenda. As always, we are deeply grateful to our loyal customers and dedicated employees whose generosity and dedication make a positive difference in the world every day.
James A. Skinner
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
The photograph of James Skinner and Stefano Pessina was taken before the Covid-19 pandemic.