Walgreens Boots Alliance slashes emissions and waste

20th February 2019

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Elizabeth Jenks

The Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) cut its global carbon footprint by 9.6% last year, meaning that the pharmaceutical retailer has slashed its CO2 emissions by 15.3% since 2016.

The owners of Boots and Walgreens also managed to generate 1.3% less waste across its stores in 2018, 54% of which was recycled, largely thanks to a zero waste to landfill project introduced in the US.

Walgreens distribution facilities in the US and Puerto Rico diverted 93% of waste from landfills as a result of the initiative, and prevented 3.4 million pounds of unused toiletries, food and household items from going to waste.

The WBA also helped provide more than 34 million lifesaving vaccinations to children in the developing world, while Boots UK employees and customers raised more than £16.6m for cancer support.

We believe that we can drive business results while benefitting society and that is why we have embedded corporate social responsibility (CSR) in everything we do, WBA co-chief operating officer, Ornella Barra, said.

The WBA also revealed that it had implemented a chemicals management program to assess and restrict the use of certain chemicals and ingredients in products it sells and provide greater transparency for consumers.

Meanwhile, Walgreens has expanded its efforts to combat overdose-related deaths, and between May 2016 and August 2018, collected and safely disposed more than 410 tons of unused and unwanted medication.

And Boots UK continued to work with Dementia Friends – an Alzheimer's society initiative to change people's perceptions and understanding of dementia – helping to raise awareness among more than 38,000 people.

Moreover, the WBA has entered into a new partnership with The Prince's Trust to increase employment opportunities for young people across the UK, by developing skills and providing in-store opportunities.

“As a pharmacy-led global company we have a tremendous opportunity to change the world for better,“ Barra continued.

“Through our health-centered initiatives we have had a positive impact on millions of people in the communities we serve and in underserved areas across the planet.“

Image credit: iStock

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