Climate change is an urgent threat to people and ecosystems and presents many risks to human health. As a large, global pharmacy, healthcare and retail company, Walgreens Boots Alliance recognizes it has a responsibility and a role to play in combatting climate change. Recently, we announced a global, enterprise-wide target to reduce absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 percent by 2030.
To find out what this means, we consulted our experts. David Hughes is senior director for Walgreens StoreCare and EnergyCare, programs involving maintenance and upkeep of stores as well as managing efficient and cost-effective energy systems. Sarah Bullimore is Boots UK’s sustainability manager for energy and carbon reduction. Along with their teams, they have made steady progress on GHG emissions reduction over the past few years, mostly through installing more, and updating existing, energy-efficient equipment. Learn more as they discuss the importance of this new target and how their work will help to achieve it.
Hughes: Walgreens is continuously working on ways to make its fleet more fuel efficient. Last year, we introduced wheel covers on 645 tractors and 1,680 trailers that provide greater aerodynamics and are anticipated to result in a 1- to 2-percent improvement in overall fuel efficiency.
We are also supporting our customers who have electric vehicles. Walgreens has hundreds of electric vehicle charging stations at stores around the U.S.
Bullimore: Boots UK also revisited its route planning with a goal to permanently reduce daily stops from 800 stores to 250 stores, resulting in a decline of 600 metric tonnes in CO2e emissions. Boots UK 2020 emissions from product delivery decreased by more than 25 percent from the previous year.
Hughes: We will be keeping our customers, employees and stakeholders informed on our progress toward meeting our target through our website, our annual reporting on our environmental impact and our annual climate change questionnaire submission to CDP, a nonprofit organization for company disclosures on this topic. We will continue to evaluate opportunities to expand upon this commitment as we look toward a low-carbon future.
Bullimore: Absolutely. We’re aware that we must continue to consider other areas of influence WBA can have around purchased goods, waste streams, associated product delivery distribution and end of product life.
Hughes: We have numerous exciting programs where we are working to reduce waste, increase recycling, divert waste from landfill and sustainable packaging innovation in our owned brand products.