Boots reaches carbon goal three years early

Following the implementation of behavior change and energy monitoring programmes, Boots UK has surpassed a 30% carbon reduction target three years ahead of schedule.

The Walgreens Boots Alliance, the largest retail pharmacy across the US and Europe, announced the landmark achievement as part of its annual corporate responsibility and sustainability (CSR) report on Friday (5 January).

The report revealed that Boots UK, one of the major retailers owned by the alliance, had cut emissions by 33% in stores that were open in 2005, exceeding a 30% reduction target set for 2020.

Boots had originally set the carbon goal following calls from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to combat climate change.

“We are dedicated to CSR because we see it as driving a sustainable and profitable enterprise,” Walgreens Boots Alliance’s executive vice chairman and chief executive Stefano Pessina said.

“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.”

Overall, the report revealed that the Alliance has decreased its total carbon footprint by 6.5% compared to the previous year, with 88% of total emissions savings coming from energy efficiency measures.

One of the major success stories of this energy drive is the EnergyCare scheme, implemented in Boots UK stores in 2012. EnergyCare uses information dashboards and monitoring to train employees on energy consumption measures. To date, 37,000 Boots employees have completed an e-learning module through the scheme.

EnergyCare has since been introduced to Walgreens retailers in Illinois, and will be rolled out to other retail stores this year. The Alliance notes that Walgreens is on track to reduce energy by 20% across 100 million square feet of US real estate, against a 2011 baseline, by 2020.

The report also notes that waste generation across the Alliance increased by 14% last year, mainly due to more stores opening. Half of the waste generated was recycled, but the amount sent to landfill is up 14% on last year’s figure.

As part of a goal to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020, the report notes that Boots UK received the maximum score on WWF’s palm oil buyers’ scorecard, using 100% certified sustainable palm oil in products. Boots UK also received top score WWF’s timber buyers’ scorecard for sustainable sourcing of timber and paper materials.

Boots at the Energy Management Forum

Boots UK’s energy manager Jonathan Foster is just one of the expert speakers appearing at edie’s Energy Management Forum in Birmingham next month.

On 28 February, edie will host the leading event for sustainability and energy management professionals who are working to increase efficiency, cut costs and drive innovation.

For more information, or to book your place at the event, click here.

Matt Mace

Comments (1)

  1. Rahul Sharma says:

    Keep on blogging! It s getting through the tough times that make you stronger and then the good times will follow, keep writing about your experiences and we should all pull together.

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