A WBA employee conducting an assessment of a supplier

We expect all our vendors and suppliers to comply with the principles outlined in our Ethical Trading Standards Policy. 

We use the policy to screen suppliers against social and environmental criteria. We assess suppliers using a detailed grading matrix based on the standards in the policy, which include: the prohibition of any form of bonded, forced, indentured or other illegal labor and of any form of slavery or human trafficking; opposition to discrimination in any form; fair and reasonable reward for workers; working hours that do not exceed applicable legal requirements; the prohibition of child labor; safe and healthy conditions; the prohibition of corruption and bribery; compliance with applicable environmental protection laws and regulations; and a commitment to improving product sustainability.

More information is included in the Ethical sourcing section of our 2018 CSR Report

Modern slavery 

Our 2018 Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement restates our continued commitment to addressing and mitigating the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking in our operations and provide an update on actions taken in the reporting year to do our part to eradicate these abhorrent practices.

During fiscal 2018 the Company implemented new training modules on modern slavery and ethical sourcing, including specific training for more than 2,000 employees across our operations directly involved in sourcing and supplying our owned brands products and goods used in our operations. In our Boots UK retail operation, more than 35,000 employees completed modern slavery awareness training during fiscal 2018.

Supplier assessments in our owned brand supply chain 

A team prepares to conduct an assessment at a supplier site

In fiscal 2018 we conducted more than 1,200 ethical compliance assessments on new and existing owned brand suppliers for our Walgreens and Boots UK owned brands. Where we identified critical noncompliance issues we worked with our suppliers on remedial action plans to help ensure issues were addressed and corrected. In the small number of cases where suppliers are unwilling to work with us to achieve compliance within an agreed time frame, we will terminate our business relationships, as a last resort. In zero tolerance cases, such as child labor, forced labor, corporal punishment, slavery and human trafficking and acts of bribery, our policy is to terminate the relationship with the supplier.

In fiscal 2018 we terminated business with two suppliers after detecting zero tolerance issues. For details please see the Ethical sourcing section of our 2018 CSR Report.


Supplier diversity 

Walgreens beauty advisors gather at our booth at the Black Women's Expo in Chicago

Walgreens Boots Alliance believes that promoting the development of small and diverse businesses fosters economic vitality in the communities we serve. Walgreens engaged with or purchased from more than 2,600 diverse and small businesses in fiscal 2018. Walgreens purchases with diverse and small suppliers was $3.1 billion during fiscal 2018, including Tier 1 spending directly with diverse suppliers and Tier 2 spending with large-scale suppliers who report to us their spending related to the Walgreens account.

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