We are determined to protect the planet through internal programs and by engaging suppliers on environmental issues to reduce energy consumption, emissions, and waste.
Climate change poses an imminent threat to human health and the health of our planet. We are working to address this threat by recycling more and reducing our own energy consumption and emissions. We’re also engaging our suppliers on environmental issues to make a positive difference to the health of the people we serve.
Of WBA waste recycled, an increase of 6% since 2019
WBA reduction in carbon emissions compared to 2019*
Of Boots UK waste went to landfill, for the 3rd year in a row
Of energy consumed across WBA was from renewable sources
* Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon emissions.
Every day we see the impact of climate-related changes to the communities we serve, including wildfires and floods, heat stress, mosquito-borne illnesses, allergies, and asthma triggered by pollution and higher pollen counts, and food insecurity and diarrhea linked to drought, impacting water supplies.
We’re committed to expanding our understanding of climate-related risks and opportunities and are on track to reduce our absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 30 percent by the end of 2030.*
*Compared with our baseline year of fiscal year 2019.
With nearly 9,000 retail pharmacy locations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, we’re investing heavily in energy efficiency projects and energy management systems for Walgreens.
We’re doing the same in the UK and eliminating the use of natural gas in new Boots locations. We’re working with other UK retailers on a roadmap for the industry to achieve complete net zero emissions by 2040, including net zero Scope 2 emissions by 2030 and Scope 1 by 2035.
We’re making good progress - in 2021 we cut carbon emissions by 14.9 percent - improving on an 8.3 percent reduction the previous year.
Cutting the amount of waste we create is crucial to achieving our overall environmental goals, and we’re constantly rethinking our designs and looking at new ways to cut consumption, recycle, promote composting, re-use materials and accurately measure our waste generation and disposal.
Boots UK engages environmental management systems and standards to drive a culture of zero waste by effectively managing all unique types of waste. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Non-Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Hierarchy ensures proper approaches are taken.
Walgreens is also a member of the RILA Sustainability and Zero Waste Committees that promote collaboration on energy use, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, waste generation reduction and the circular economy.
Today, only 9 percent of the world’s plastic is recycled, but now more than 54,000 Boots UK customers are giving a second life to their health, beauty and wellness items with dedicated drop-off points in our stores. At more than 700 locations, customers can drop off any brand of container or packaging from health, beauty and wellness products, including many items not currently compatible with curb-side recycling. Almost everything dropped off can be scanned using Scan2Recycle technology, which provides information about recycling the item, including where and how it can be recycled.
Other companies and industry groups are interested in this type of in-store recycling and Boots is sharing learnings from the scheme with them; hoping to see the same levels of accessibility and transparency rolled out across the industry.
Most of the energy we use across our businesses is related to light and heating, but we also track travel, transportation, and distribution usage. In 2021, our total carbon footprint was down 14.9 percent from 2019, mainly due to energy efficiency projects and more energy from renewable sources.
In the Republic of Ireland, 100 percent of our Boots stores are powered by certified renewable energy and in the UK, 98 percent of our stores are certified renewable. In the U.S., rooftop solar panels are installed at 240 stores, and we have a new solar strategy coming into place soon.
By September 1, 2022, we expect all mica in any of our finished products to be sourced from a member of the Responsible Mica Initiative.
We demand our suppliers ensure that talc is not sourced from illegal mines.
Cobalt is now prohibited in our cosmetic products and we have taken steps to ensure that any cobalt used is not sourced from illegal mines in The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Walgreens is committed to 100 percent certified RSPO palm oil by the end of 2023, via physically certified palm oil and credits. 100 percent of Palm Oil in Boots UK and No7 Beauty products from certified sustainable sources.
96 percent of the wood pulp and paper used by Boots UK owned brands and No7 Beauty Company is from credibly certified sources.
We are a member of the nonprofit Global Shea Alliance (GSA), promoting industry sustainability, quality practices and standards around shea butter and giving back to communities that work in the sheaindustry.
Walgreens is working to reinvent the plastic bag – identifying, testing, and implementing design solutions and models that are more sustainable. As part of the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag, we’re taking learnings from several pilot schemes into the business.
Boots pharmacies use recycled paper bags for most medication pick up at stores, and plastic bags made of compostable material for medications dispensed from a central facility. By switching to paper, Boots has exceeded its goal of eliminating two million pounds of plastic each year and made significant progress in removing all plastic packaging from 99.8 percent of online deliveries. In Mexico, Farmacias Benavides now has reusable cloth bags available to eliminate conventional plastic bag use.
The issue of packaging waste is a growing societal concern, and we are doing our part to address the negative impacts of waste from packaging. But no one can tackle these issues on their own, so we collaborate with groups like the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and Retail Industry Leaders Association to cut plastic packaging across our products.
Through this work we’ve moved from plastic to glass jars on many of our No7 products and cut the plastic content, or moved to recycled plastic, on many of our lipsticks, compacts, foundation, mascara and more. We’ve also removed 23 metric tons of steel per year from our products and invested the savings into PCR plastic.
In 2021, we launched No7 Beauty Company - a consumer-led beauty business creating trusted, affordable beauty brands for every skin type, ethnicity, age, and texture. A collection of iconic, global beauty brands, No7 Beauty Company has a mission to develop products through world-class innovation and sustainable sourcing practices with three ambitious goals.
At Least 50%
Of global sales will come from healthier, more sustainable products and services
Of the overall impact of new products we place on the market compared to 2019
More value for society, compared to 2019
No7 has set up multiple programs and campaigns to help achieve these targets. It is a founding member of the Sustainable Beauty Coalition, an initiative launched by the British Beauty Council to accelerate the sustainability efforts of the UK beauty sector.
No7 launched Unstoppable Together - a multi-year campaign in the U.S. that aims to help women defy stereotypes and reach their full potential.
The Liz Earle brand became a member of the Union of Ethical Bio Trade, committing to sourcing ingredients from biodiversity in a way that respects people and nature.
Soap & Glory has achieved Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny certification, which signals to ethically and environmentally minded consumers that they are purchasing products with extra commitments to sustainability.