You are here: Home Corporate Social Responsibility What we do Sustainability Customers and Communities

Customers and Communities

At Boots, we have the privileged  position of being at the heart of communities in the UK.

We want to work collaboratively with these communities and customers to achieve our sustainability goals. Being transparent about what we are doing as a business, and by providing positive product choices on our shelves will help us to do this  and so, creating healthier, more sustainable lifestyles for all.

What we’re doing

We’re committed to creating health communities that help us make a healthy planet for all. We’ve already made some progress, but are focused to take on more:

Together with No7, our Recycle at Boots scheme allows customers to return their
hard-to-recycle packaging for health, beauty and wellness products. The scheme is currently available in 700 stores across the UK. To find out more about the scheme visit boots.com

While we continue to work on reformatting products to more sustainable alternatives an important interim step is to support our customers recycle the products we sell wherever possible.

We know that currently 86% of people already recycle in their bathrooms* but there’s always room to recycle more. Every product recycled helps to retain the value of the material used and bring it back into the circular economy so it can be used again and again.

*Source Recycle Now website

  • Making sustainable toiletries more affordable

We believe that sustainable living and products shouldn’t come with a huge price tag. It’s important to us at Boots to ensure that our sustainability standards are met for all our products so as to make sustainable living accessible to all. We’re working hard to create products that are great value, lessen impact and are good for you. We’re also working with our partner The Hygiene Bankto support the issue of hygiene poverty.

  • Consistently grow the Boots Be More range

The Boots Be More range of products encourages our customers to make small changes to their purchases to be more sustainable.  The Be More logos shows that an item is made with zero plastic, recycled materials, is  vegan or cruelty free, or is designed to be re-used.

Our ambition is for this range to continue to grow to be able to offer customers more ways to make simple swaps in their routines and that’s why we’re working with our suppliers to help grow this range.

  • Nutrition and healthier living

Leading a healthy lifestyle is good for all of us and here at Boots UK, we recognise why this is so high on the Government’s agenda and want to do our bit to help. Eating well and taking regular exercise are positive steps that help tackle a wide range of health issues, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  

Our healthier living credentials 

As the UK’s leading pharmacy-led, health and beauty retailer, we believe that Boots UK has a role to play in helping everyone look after their health and wellbeing, as well as helping to tackle obesity.

We want to use our expertise to help our customers make positive changes and lead healthier lives. This ambition is reflected in the range of products we offer, their quality, and the nutrition standards we require to develop products made exclusively for the Boots brand.   

  • Our food products are developed in accordance with healthy eating guidelines for calories, fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt, to help make healthier choices easier. Boots branded foods do not contain artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or hydrogenated vegetable oils  
  • Our Traffic Light nutrition labelling is clear and informative
  • We recognise the importance of early years nutrition and offer products and support to mothers who are breastfeeding, bottle feeding and weaning their babies
  • We have an extensive range of vitamins and nutritional supplements that help complement a healthy diet
  • We also provide the supplements recommended by the government for vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, babies, children and adults who are housebound
  • We have products and services to help our customers live well, make positive changes in their lives, and improve their health, such as managing their weight, helping to stop smoking and being more physically active. 

On average, we eat too much saturated fat, added salt and sugar, and not enough fruit, vegetables, fibre and oily fish. Many of us have low intakes of vitamins such as vitamin D, and minerals. Here at Boots, we strive to develop affordable, convenient products for our customers with these nutritional needs in mind. We prioritise making healthy food choices easier and set our standards accordingly to deliver an active product reformulation programme, innovative new products, and build business partnerships that positively influence our customers’ food and lifestyle choices.   

Healthier snacking at till points 

April 2016 saw the removal of sweets and chocolates from our tills, and our range of healthier snacks continues to grow. Our till policy now focuses on the positive nutritional attributes of snacks and drinks, allowing customers greater access to healthier choices.  

Reducing salt levels 

Since 2011, we've continued to deliver on our commitment to reducing the average person’s salt intake and have made Public Health England’s voluntary salt reduction targets an essential requirement for the development of our own brand foods. 

Controlling sugar, saturated fat and calorie levels 

We set a maximum level of calories and saturated fat for every serving of food. In addition, our development team ensures that unseen sugars in foods like bread, mayonnaise and salad dressings are kept to a minimum.  

Nutrition governance and labelling 

As part of our commitment to healthier living, we abide by strict nutritional standards for all Boots UK’s food products. We introduced the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) Traffic Light colour-coding in May 2007 to help our customers understand their food’s healthy eating credentials. For every Boots food, you can instantly see the number of calories, and the amount of fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt per serving. The percentage reference intake contribution combined with the Traffic Light colour code indicates whether the levels are high (red), medium (amber) or low (green), in line with Public Health England guidance. We also use a prominent roundel symbol to highlight the calorie count per serving. 

 

5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day 

Evidence shows that eating a variety of different fruit and vegetables, and at least five portions per day, can have significant health benefits. That is why we developed our 5 A-DAY logo to show the number of fruit and vegetable portions that a serving of food contains, at a glance. The logo applies to the inclusion of vegetables, salad, beans and pulses in our sandwiches, salads and wraps. 

Specialist diets and plant power 

Our product ranges are clearly labelled with symbols to identify products that support gluten free, plant-based, vegetarian, and vegan lifestyles. We also offer a range of vitamin supplements to help complement the nutrients that can be in short supply when following restricted diets. 

Healthy hydration 

In response to health concerns regarding the sale of high caffeine energy drinks, we voluntarily took steps to restrict their sale to children under the age of 16 in March 2018. We also offer an extensive range of drinks with less than 5% sugar.

Working in partnership 

Tackling unhealthy lifestyles in the UK is a challenge for us all, but we can achieve more and reach more customers by forming business partnerships. Traditionally, we have worked with our suppliers, the NHS, Department of Health, British Retail Consortium and others, but now, Boots is working in collaboration with Public Health England (PHE). This three-year partnership started in January 2020 with an interactive “Reboot Quiz” hosted on Boots.com. It uses PHE’s evidence-based approach to ask customers simple questions that assess their behaviour on a range of topics, including eating and drinking habits, smoking, daily stress, and exercise. Customers can then choose to continue on their Reboot journey and receive personalised product and service recommendations. 

 

Related resources