supply chain

Sustainable and ethical supply chains

 

With over 2,500 stores in the UK and thousands of products available, from bubble bath to nappies, we know that you trust us to make sure the products you love to buy are sourced responsibly and ethically. That’s why we’ve made it our priority to ensure that all Boots brand or Boots exclusive products are produced by suppliers who treat their workers fairly and show a responsible attitude to the environment.

We work hard to make this happen, using our own in-house ‘supplier assessment’ team and approved external partners who visit the factories of our suppliers and audit them against the Boots ‘Code of Conduct for Ethical Trading’. We also use stringent policies and processes to make sure that our products meet the highest standards you expect.

Here are some examples of the systems we have in place to help us do this:

  • We make sure our natural materials and ingredients are fully traceable back to their origin
  • When we examine the potential of new products we include sustainability information as well as traceability and biodiversity impact information in their assessment
  • We have an online database where we can trace ingredient information and assess the sustainability risks of raw materials used in Boots brand products
  • We have rigorous policies in place to ensure materials such as wood, paper and palm oil are sourced responsibly

Supplier audit

Our in-house ‘supplier assessment’ teams and approved external partners based in the UK and the Far East assess every Boots brand and exclusive product supplier against the Boots ‘Code of Conduct for Ethical Trading’, ensuring they are working as hard as we do to protect their employees and the environment.

  • Since 2002, we have audited over 2,000 supplier sites in more than 40 countries, working with them to improve their standards with follow-up action plans and ongoing reviews to make sure that standards are maintained
  • Our internal teams hold regular Ethical Trading conferences to meet and further engage our global suppliers in the standards our customers expect of any Boots supplier
  • • As well as our Boots experts, we also work with external organisations such as Business in the Community and the Gangmasters Licencing Authority who challenge and support the ongoing development of our supplier assessment processes, and help our suppliers resolve any problems

Sustainable materials and Boots

We all know about the burden placed on our environment around the world and the resulting decline in certain species, natural materials and resources.

Manufacturing and sourcing products responsibly is really important to us here at Boots. In addition to the control systems we’ve already talked about, here is some more information about how we are addressing some of the raw material sustainability issues to make sure we bring ethical ingredients to the products you love:

Forest products
  • We were a founder member of WWF’s Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN) and as an active member we are committed to the aim of sourcing wood, pulp and paper products only from independently accredited sources such as those certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). For more information, tap into our progress on the sustainable sourcing of these products, click here
  • We support the WWF “Forests Campaign” which seeks to cut out the trade in illegal and unsustainable timber, by working together with business to influence government at UK and EU level in order to level the playing field for businesses that are supportive of responsible forest trade.
  • We participate in the “Carbon Disclosure Project’s Forests Program”, reporting on our use of forest-related materials and helping to address the issue of deforestation
Palm Oil
  • We were one of the first retailers to join the 'Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’ (RSPO), an organisation dedicated to improving the sustainability of the international palm oil supply chain
  • We have targets for the use of 100% Supply chain Certified Sustainable Palm oil in our products and use the Greenpalm certificate system for palm oil derivatives We review these annually and are increasing the amount of derivitives sourced from Supply chain Certified Sustainable Palm oil . We report progress via the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), annual communication of progress and our CSR reports Animal welfare.
Animal welfare
  • From 2011, all tuna used in Boots brand and exclusive food is sustainably sourced, caught by pole and line to help protect marine life and maintain biodiversity
  • We aim to only use free-range eggs, and free-range egg-derived ingredients
Natural products
  • Products such as sponges or loofahs are only made from renewable sources where we know the product’s origin and harvesting methods
  • We never source products made from or negatively impacting endangered species (as listed in Appendix 1, Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES))

Case study: Botanics in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens

With their combined expertise in skincare and natural extracts, Boots Botanics and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew have worked together for more than ten years to create Botanics skin care. Find out more here

Water
  • Our product sustainability assessment process considers the implications for water scarcity in the area where the raw material or product has been sourced, and the impact of the water required to use the product in the areas where the product is being sold. We assess our raw material sources to reduce the water impact of materials we use
  • Our contract manufacturing business, BCM, is actively pursuing ways to minimise water usage for its in-house manufacturing operations

We work hard to offer you amazing products made with sustainable ingredients and will continue to work alongside colleagues and suppliers to constantly drive improvements in preserving our dwindling natural resources.