A new year's resolution for Walgreens

Gina Acosta
Executive Editor
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Walgreens leveraged its scale and business values to meet its sustainability goals in 2017, but the company says it still has work to do in 2018.

According to the company's 2017 corporate sustainability report, WBA made significant strides during fiscal 2017, hitting important milestones and setting out new commitments within its 12 CSR goals. The company has also enhanced transparency regarding its impact on communities and the environment.

In the report Walgreens Boots Alliance, formed in 2014, presents comparable data for its operations across the world for the first time, using fiscal 2016 data as a baseline. The data show the results of the company’s efforts to reduce emissions and waste, further diversity and inclusion and contribute to groups that work on addressing health care and other pressing global issues.

“Corporate Social Responsibility sits at the heart of Walgreens Boots Alliance. Throughout 2017, we continued to demonstrate how we as a company embed our CSR values in everything we do,” said Ornella Barra, Walgreens Boots Alliance co-chief operating officer and chairman of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. “I am immensely proud of the positive impact our initiatives have on millions of lives around the world. By building on our successes and creating long-term collaborations with partner organizations, we aim for the biggest possible positive impact in our areas of focus. For us, this is quite simply the right thing to do.”

The company is pledging to aligning its activities to support all 17 of the UN's sustainability goals, which include goals to end poverty, take action on climate change, improve access to health and education, build strong institutions and more.

“We are dedicated to CSR because we see it as driving a sustainable and profitable enterprise,” said Stefano Pessina, Walgreens Boots Alliance executive vice chairman and CEO. “As a health and wellbeing company, we operate in markets where ethical behavior is of utmost importance. We strive to be a responsible neighbor in the communities we serve, to protect the planet for the future, to do business with integrity and to treat our people and our customers with dignity and respect.”

Highlights from the 2017 CSR Report include:

  • Walgreens expanded programs to combat opioid abuse through medication disposal kiosks (more than 150 tons of unused medications have been collected and disposed of since 2016) and through work to make naloxone, a lifesaving opioid antidote, available without requiring a prescription at its pharmacies in 45 U.S. states.
  • Boots UK employees and customers have raised more than £15 million ($24 million) for Macmillan Cancer Support over eight years, and more than 2,200 Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists have been trained to offer support to cancer patients and their loved ones.
  • Walgreens expanded its partnership with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, including training for pharmacists to help patients who are taking blood cancer medication.
  • Walgreens support of the Red Nose Day annual campaign raised more than $20 million with 10.6 million noses sold, which helps to provide nutritious meals, essential medicine, clean water and other vital aid and services to children in need in the U.S. and in other countries.
  • During fiscal 2017 Walgreens Boots Alliance decreased its total carbon footprint by 6.5 percent from the previous year, through energy efficiency programs and projects.
  • During fiscal 2017 Boots UK achieved its CO2 reduction target three years ahead of schedule, cutting emissions by 33 percent in Boots stores that were open in 2005.