Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) is committed to doing its part to protect the environment and communities and understands the need for action on climate change. Through its global, enterprise-wide climate target, WBA pledges to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by the end of fiscal 2030, compared with a 2019 baseline. The development of this target was informed and guided by science-based methodology and builds on ongoing work by the company’s businesses to reduce emissions.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report on Climate Change, recent human-induced changes in the climate are widespread, rapid and intensifying, and unprecedented in thousands of years. The changing climate is at a tipping point, poised to exacerbate a wide array of economic, business and social risks over the next decades.
“WBA’s leaders and board of directors understand that as a company with a vision centered in healthcare and well-being for all, we have a particular responsibility to act on climate change, which presents growing risks for human health among other impacts,” said Roz Brewer, WBA’s chief executive officer. “We believe this target is an impactful step in our sustainability journey and we will continue to look for ways to build on this effort.”
WBA plans to achieve its emissions reduction target primarily through its ongoing focus on energy efficiency. Walgreens, WBA’s largest business with nearly 9,000 retail pharmacy locations, will continue to invest in installation and upgrades of lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and energy management systems.
Boots, the company’s UK-based retail pharmacy brand, will likewise continue energy efficiency programs and also aims to eliminate the use of natural gas in new locations. Almost all of the electricity that Boots UK and Boots Ireland purchase through utility grids is certified renewable. Boots UK also supports the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) net zero targets through involvement in the Retail Climate Action Roadmap.
“Our businesses across the world have been hard at work to reduce their carbon footprint for some time. These efforts include energy efficiency installations, upgrades and fuel efficiency in our vehicles among other initiatives,” said Ornella Barra, WBA chief operating officer, International, and chairman of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. “We are holding ourselves accountable through this new, public target and we will continue to transparently report on our progress on this and our other sustainability goals.”
While Walgreens and Boots retail pharmacy operations, support offices, distribution centers and delivery fleets represent more than 90 percent of the company’s Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon footprint, WBA’s other businesses in geographies across the world will also continue to contribute to efforts to reduce emissions.
The company expects to review this target within two years and to evaluate opportunities to expand upon this commitment as it looks toward a low carbon future. WBA will keep customers, team members, investors and other stakeholders informed on progress through its annual environmental reporting process and CDP climate change questionnaire submission. WBA’s most recent report on environmental and social issues, the 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, is available on the corporate website.