Reducing the environmental impact of our business, including waste, emissions and plastics
At Walgreens Boots Alliance, we believe there is an inextricable link between the health of our planet and the health of our communities, whether impacted by extreme temperatures, natural disasters, airborne diseases or poor air quality. We also believe climate change is caused by human activities and requires swift action by corporations to do our part in reducing our footprint.
Reduction in carbon emissions in WBA operations compared to the 2019 baseline
Plastic-free online deliveries at Boots UK
7265+ metric tonnes
Product donated and liquidated by Walgreens in 2023
552 metric tonnes
Stock bottles and caps diverted from landfill after the first full year of Walgreens recycling
Beauty, health, wellness and dental products deposited by more than 100,000 registered users since the start of the Recycle at Boots program
~900 metric tonnes
Plastics removed from annual store operations after switching to offering paper bags at Boots retail checkouts
661600 metric tonnes
Materials recycled or reused at WBA that were diverted from disposal, an increase of 79% from the baseline year of fiscal 2019
*Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon emissions, as of the end of fiscal 2023, August 31, 2023
“Our actions over the past year range from policy to the practical. We continue to align our reporting to the likes of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and we continue to engage with organizations such as the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) in the U.S. and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) in the UK to help guide our environmental work. With clear targets set and monitored rigorously on a quarterly basis, we can hold our heads high.”
Vice President of ESG and DEI, International, Walgreens Boots Alliance
WBA has continued to execute against our global emissions reduction targets, which include an ambition to reduce our total emissions by 30 percent by the end of fiscal 2030. At the end of fiscal 2023, WBA was able to reduce our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 25 percent compared to the 2019 baseline.
During fiscal 2023, WBA focused on better predicting and adjusting to energy needs across its businesses while continuing to monitor efficiency performance for each business on weekly, monthly and annual cadences.
As energy accounts for most of our emissions, our strategy is guided by efficiency and supplemented with renewable sources. We reduce our overall carbon footprint through management of equipment and systems across retail locations, distribution centers and fleets. WBA’s businesses invest in energy-efficient lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units and refrigerators; engage and educate team members around energy consumption; invest in photovoltaic systems; use alternative energy management programs; and participate in demand-response curtailment programs during peak periods.
Waste management is an important issue for WBA and our stakeholders, who expect us to do what is reasonably within our control to avoid waste associated with our operations and minimize any adverse impacts through responsible management. WBA continues to prioritize sustainability by rethinking designs, reducing consumption, recycling, composting, reusing materials, and measuring our global waste generation and disposal.
Waste is a local issue and is managed differently across geographies, with an emphasis on partnership and overall waste reduction. Tackling a challenge such as waste requires industry collaboration with retail groups and municipalities, especially due to continued uncertainties in the global recycling market.
Walgreens has been a member of the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag since 2019, a collaboration with major retailers and nonprofit organizations to identify, test, and implement design solutions and models that sustainably serve the purpose of the current retail bag. Also in 2019, Boots UK announced the elimination of plastic bags for its customers, switching to unbleached paper bags. More recently in fiscal 2023, Boots Thailand phased out plastic bags. Paper bags are now available for customers in Thailand.