Helping to provide COVID-19 testing in underserved neighborhoods stands as one area of progress for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) in 2020, at least according to the retailer’s new “At the Heart of Health 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility" (CSR) report.
It outlines the impact of the retailer’s commitment to the critical needs facing communities today, including access to healthcare, diversity and inclusion accountability and innovative and sustainable solutions like reducing its carbon footprint and generation of waste while increasing re-use and recycling.
“Helping people lead healthier, happier lives is at the heart of our business,” said Ornella Barra, WBA’s co-chief operating officer and the chairman of the company’s CSR Committee. “For generations, it has been both our responsibility and a business imperative to operate as a force for good for people and the planet — especially in times of crisis. Throughout the pandemic, we remain on the front line to ensure we safely provide healthcare services and support, which now includes COVID-19 vaccine administration, while also progressing in our other key CSR focus areas.”
In 2020, the company stepped up as a force for good to support its communities and made progress on its goals by:
· Improving healthcare access and raising awareness of health issues through COVID-19 testing in underserved communities; programs in Chicago to address health inequities; the creation of safe spaces for victims of domestic violence in Chile, Ireland and the UK; and online pharmacy and beauty support for UK cancer patients.
· Implementing safety, health, workplace flexibility and information measures for employees. These efforts earned WBA recognition from JUST Capital and Forbes, which ranked WBA 19th on a list of the 100 largest U.S. employers for COVID-19 response.
· Holding managers accountable for increasing diversity by connecting pay incentives to results on WBA’s leadership diversity goals.
· Helping to provide vitamins to more than 250 million vulnerable women and children as well as 60 million lifesaving vaccines in developing nations through long-term partnerships.
· Reducing its carbon footprint, achieving its long-term energy intensity reduction goal across Walgreens retail space, reducing its generation of waste and increasing its recycling rate.
· Reducing unnecessary plastics from WBA’s owned brand products packaging and joining industry collaborations to reduce packaging waste.
The report’s release comes as Walgreen teams with Uber to provide more vaccine access to consumers — and as retailers of all types step up efforts to vaccinate workers and shoppers. Tractor Supply Co., meanwhile, is among the retailers paying workers to vaccinate.