Pharmacist talking with a patient

Walgreens Boots Alliance touches millions of lives every day, through the medicines we dispense and distribute, our convenient retail stores and our health and beauty products. We deliver healthcare and support communities through our day-to-day operations and our business values, and these essential roles shape our approach to CSR.

Given our scale and our position at the intersection of healthcare, retail and beauty, we believe that we can make a profound and positive impact on the world.

In fiscal 2018 Walgreens Boots Alliance conducted a CSR materiality assessment to identify the CSR material topics we should measure and against which we should report our impact. This exercise showed that many of the highest priority issues for stakeholders, and areas where we have the greatest impact, are healthcare related: access to affordable and quality healthcare, consumer health education and prescription drug abuse.

These outcomes supports our healthcare-centered CSR strategy, which was developed to reflect the nature of our business and our stated purpose to help people across the world lead healthier and happier lives.
 

Our CSR goals

Walgreens Boots Alliance has 12 CSR goals grouped into four areas, as follows:


Community

We strive to be a responsible neighbor in the communities we serve around the world. We are taking actions to:

  • Support the health, wellbeing and vitality of the communities we serve

  • Enable young people to achieve their potential wherever they are in the world

  • Develop and mobilize our resources and partnerships in the fight against cancer 


Environment

We are determined to protect the environment and do our part to ensure it flourishes for future generations. We understand our potential positive impact and are taking actions to:

  • Reduce our energy consumption and emissions on a comparable basis* as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol

  • Reduce the waste we create, on a comparable basis*, and contribute to the drive for increasingly circular economies through increased re-use and recycling

  • Develop plans to help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020, collaborating with other organizations in a global initiative
    *Excludes the impact of acquisitions, disposals and any significant changes in existing operations.


Marketplace

We aim to do business fairly and with integrity and are taking actions to:

  • Create a global process that enables transparency of ingredients and their traceability for the exclusive consumer retail product brands that we sell

  • Continue to drive ethical sourcing practices across our supply chain, protecting human rights, supporting diverse suppliers and engaging with suppliers around environmental issues

  • Work collaboratively with a global network of key external organizations engaging in issues that carry the greatest social relevance to the markets and in the communities we serve 


Workplace

We strive to treat our people with dignity and respect and are taking actions to:

  • Proactively support the personal health and wellbeing of our employees

  • Deliver our commitment to equal opportunities for everyone across our employment practices, policies and proceduresContinuously improve our robust approach to health and safety, actively caring for our employees and customers, throughout the Company
  • Continuously improve our robust approach to health and safety, actively caring for our employees and customers, throughout the Company
     

Boosting shared value

Our aim is to lead by example and to maximize the impact of our initiatives, especially in the area of health and wellbeing. To boost shared value, our businesses support campaigns that differentiate their commercial offers, generate customer loyalty, energize employees and help to improve the health and wellbeing of millions of children. This means our CSR work is good for business, people and the community.

Through these initiatives—such as Red Nose Day and ME to WE in the U.S., and our support of BBC Children in Need in the UK—customers and employees are empowered to give back and have an impact on child poverty and health.

 

GRI Standards

GRI is the world’s most widely used set of sustainability reporting standards and we engaged with GRI as we developed our 2018 CSR Report. The report was prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option.

We believe the CSR materiality assessment we conducted in fiscal 2018, together with the GRI disclosures that correspond to the material topics that were identified through the assessment, provide enhanced transparency and credibility and will give our stakeholders greater confidence in our CSR work.

 

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)

Walgreens Boots Alliance is committed to contributing to the implementation of the SDGs. During fiscal 2018 we evaluated our performance on the SDGs through participation in the SDG Evaluation Tool, an assessment by Trucost, part of S&P Global. Walgreens Boots Alliance joined a group of more than a dozen companies in the inaugural application of the tool, designed to enable companies and investors to align their sustainability strategies with the SDGs.

The Trucost evaluation provided insight  that will help us to prioritize our focus on the SDGs where we have the greatest impact.

 

Targets

Our individual businesses are located in different countries around the world with different infrastructure and market realities. Each business has a designated CSR champion who coordinates the setting of CSR targets relevant to its local communities and context. Targets are agreed with each business’s leadership team. The Walgreens Boots Alliance CSR Committee confirms, on an annual basis, the overarching Walgreens Boots Alliance CSR strategy and goals and reviews divisional updates throughout the year.
 

Corporate governance

Walgreens Boots Alliance believes that strong corporate governance is an essential element to achieving our overall objectives and acting as a responsible organization.

Having appropriate oversight and governance of our CSR program is critical to its success. Our CSR Committee plays a leading role in providing oversight and governance. The Committee, chaired by our Co-Chief Operating Officer Ornella Barra, includes senior executives from our key businesses as well as the legal, human resources and communications functions.
 
At the Board level, the Nominating and Governance Committee reviews, at least annually, our policies and activities regarding sustainability and CSR and assesses our management of risks in those areas. Our Corporate Social Responsibility Policy Statements.

 

Code of Conduct and Business Ethics

The Walgreens Boots Alliance Code of Conduct and Business Ethics supports good governance of our behaviors and approach to CSR. It sets out the ethics and principles that are to be upheld by each Division, business and corporate function within Walgreens Boots Alliance.

The Code extends to all our officers and employees no matter where they are located in the world. It also extends to other parties acting on behalf of Walgreens Boots Alliance or any of its subsidiaries, such as consultants, agents, intermediaries or other representatives of Walgreens Boots Alliance, including our Board of Directors.

 

Customer, patient and product safety

Walgreens Boots Alliance is committed to the safe dispensing of medicines in our pharmacies, the wholesaling and distribution of medicines in a safe environment, and the production and sale of high-quality health and beauty products. Pharmaceutical products accounted for 72 percent of our sales in fiscal 2018, making distribution and dispensing of medications the most significant part of our business. Our prescription labels are designed to meet both regulatory requirements and our internal standards to ensure patient safety.

The Marketplace section of our report discusses product safety, information and labeling in our owned brands.

 

Data privacy and security

Throughout our operations, we receive, retain and transmit personal information from customers and others. This information is provided when they purchase products or services, fill prescriptions, enroll in promotional programs, participate in our customer loyalty programs, register on our websites or otherwise communicate and interact with us. In addition, aspects of our operations depend upon the secure transmission of confidential information over public networks.

Under the leadership of our Global Chief Information Security Officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance devotes significant resources to protect the security of our computer systems, data, networks and other assets. Our IT department maintains procedures to manage and escalate information security incidents.

Our global information security policies set the compliance guidelines for our people, processes and systems. Walgreens Boots Alliance has programs in place to help ensure adherence to security policies, control frameworks and regulatory requirements.

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