Walgreens Boots Alliance Is Taking Action To Reduce Business Environmental Impact

Feb 26, 2024 1:15 PM ET
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Walgreens Boots Alliance remains committed and focused to the ambitious but very necessary targets set in the areas of carbon emissions reduction, plastic reduction and food waste reduction. Details on our progress against our emissions reduction goals can be found in our 2023 Environmental, Social & Governance Report.

At WBA, we believe there is an inextricable link between the health of our planet and the health of our communities, whether impacted by extreme temperatures, natural disasters, airborne diseases or poor air quality. We also believe climate change is caused by human activities and requires swift action by corporations to do our part in reducing our footprint. 

WBA has continued to execute against our global emissions reduction targets, which include an ambition to reduce our total emissions by 30 percent by the end of fiscal 2030. At the end of fiscal 2023, WBA was able to reduce our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 25 percent compared to the 2019 baseline.

To position WBA to meet our reduction targets, we continually seek opportunities to advance energy efficiency in our largest business, Walgreens. With more than 8,700 stores and clinics in the U.S., implementing new strategies that reduce the energy consumption involved in maintenance, sourcing and other energy intensive activities is crucial to ensure we meet our 2030 goals.

In fiscal 2023, Walgreens initiated a trial bulk fuel program in two California distribution centers that replaced traditional diesel with renewable diesel. This has the potential to decrease transportation emissions in these locations by 75 percent. Given the positive impact of this program, WBA intends to roll it out to other locations across the U.S. as additional supply becomes available.

In the UK, Boots has continued to limit the reliance on natural gas in its stores. Our position is to not use gas in new stores, and we have active gas to electric programs to support the transition away from gas. As part of that program, Boots was able to remove natural gas from seven stores via HVAC projects and significantly limited the reliance on gas in one additional store.

In fiscal 2021, Boots UK collaborated with other UK retailers on a roadmap for the industry to achieve net zero emissions by 2040, including net zero Scope 2 emissions by 2030, Scope 1 by 2035 and Scope 3 by 2040. Boots Ireland signed up to the Business in the Community Ireland Low Carbon Pledge to set science-based carbon emissions reduction targets by 2024.

This year, Boots and the No7 Beauty Company established a network of Net Zero Leads across the business who are using baseline footprint data for Scopes 1, 2 and 3, gathered in fiscal 2022, to develop an emissions reduction plan. The Leads will meet monthly and are tasked with identifying opportunities to reduce emissions in their business area, gathering data to support annual footprinting and engaging and inspiring their teams to reduce emissions.

For more information on WBA’s energy and emissions initiatives please see the latest ESG Report.