Operating our business in a way that cares for the environment has never been more important than it is today.
Boots has a rich legacy of operating responsibly simply because it’s the right thing to do. Finding ways to make our Bootprint as light as possible is fundamental to keeping our business and communities thriving.
Making our operation more sustainable is fundamental to our communities and business thriving.
To reduce the Bootprint of our operations, we continue to reduce our emissions and waste, alongside making sure our stores and sites are future-fit. We are a signatory to the British Retail Consortium’s Retail Climate Action Plan, part of the retail industry’s pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 (including net zero Scope 2 emissions by 2030 and Scope 1 by 2035).
Boots Ireland has signed up to the Business in the Community Ireland Low Carbon Pledge to set science-based carbon emissions reduction targets by 2024.
Since 1915, we have been generating our own energy using our first Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant at our Island Street site in Nottingham. Today, we generate most of the energy our Nottingham site uses through our highly efficient CHP technology.
We are also reducing our energy through an LED lighting transition programme for stores, installing doors on fridges and improving efficiencies in our heating and building management systems (BMS).
We work with third-party providers to deliver our retail products from our warehouses to your local Boots store, and we are continually working with them to reduce our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to be as environmentally friendly as possible. For a number of years, we have been reducing the relative number of trucks on the road through trailer capacity and routing efficiencies including off-peak deliveries to stores to avoid congestion.
Wherever possible we aim to reduce or recycle our waste and for the past several years we have achieved less than 1% of our waste going to landfill. Boots is part of WRAP’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap with an ambitious target to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030.
We want to ensure our customers feel good about the purchases they make and empower them to be agents of change.
Recycle at Boots
Our Recycle at Boots scheme is currently available in 700 stores and facilitates the recycling of health and wellness products unable to be recycled at home.
The scheme rewards customers for making recycling part of their beauty regime, with Boots Advantage Card rewards for every five empty products donated. We are the first retailer to use Scan2Recycle technology – developed by Metrisk – to provide information on what can be recycled as part of the scheme and allow customers to track the impact of their donations.
Launched in June 2021, our sustainability initiative ‘Be More’ helps customers select products with one or more of the following attributes: Plastic-free, Recycled, Re-usable, Vegan and Cruelty-free.
The initiative features over 650 products as a permanent feature on our online store, with customers able to filter their product searches by each ‘Be More’ attribute and help them make more sustainable choices.
Making sustainability 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 Bank to help fight hygiene poverty.
You trust us to make sure the products you love are sourced responsibly and ethically, and 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.
Responsible and transparent sourcing
Our WBA Global Sourcing Team works proactively with suppliers to ensure that our products are sustainably and ethically sourced, and our Global Product Sustainability Hub requires suppliers to submit declarations for every component of every product. This ensures every owned brand product and every No7 Beauty Company product complies with WBA’s Global Minimum Requirements for Product Sustainability.
We also work with approved external partners to assess suppliers against the Walgreens Boots Alliance Minimum Requirements for Product Sustainability and Ethical Trading Standard and have implemented the WBA Supplier Sustainability Programme which uses THESIS – a holistic assessment tool developed by non-profit organisation The Sustainability Consortium – to measure supplier performance and share action recommendations to address any hotspots.
We report annually on the percentage of sustainably sourced raw materials, with clear ongoing targets. Boots has set standards on the sourcing of:
- Certified sustainable forests products (including wood, paper and pulp) or recycled materials
- Palm oil: Aiming for RSPO supply chain certified sources
- Cotton: Must not be manufactured in the Xinjing Uighur Autonomous Region of China
Ethical supply chain
We source own brand and exclusive products from factories in more than 32 different countries and our ethical sourcing teams, with the support of auditors and a small number of pre-approved third parties, ensure each factory is assessed and approved against our supplier code of conduct and ethical trading standard.
Our robust onboarding ethical assessment program is supported by a supplier training webinar designed to explain our ethical standards and assessment requirements, share opportunities for suppliers to improve social and environmental compliance, and provide a forum to raise questions.
Product carbon footprint
We continuously look to reduce and understand the end-to-end carbon footprint of our products. Through the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Climate Action Roadmap, 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. Through the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Climate Action Roadmap, Boots UK collaborated with other UK retailers on a roadmap for the industry to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. In 2022/23, we established our baseline carbon footprint and began preparing an emissions reduction plan.
Responsible packaging and plastic management
Plastic packaging present in the UK market totals 2.3 megatonnes (Mt), accounting for nearly 70% of all UK plastic waste. As a major retailer, we play a significant role in tackling the issues of plastic pollution and over-consumption and are acting to reduce plastic across our business as quickly as possible. We work with our value chain to rethink packaging and boost innovation to reduce plastic and recycle plastics where its use is required. We are members of the UK Plastics Pact, a collaboration that brings together businesses from across the entire plastics value chain with UK governments and NGOs to tackle the issue of plastic waste.
No animal testing is undertaken by Walgreens Boots Alliance, wither on our owned brand products or on ingredients used in these products. Our brands Soap & Glory, Botanics and Liz Earle have achieved Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny status, a global programme which requires cruelty free standards over and above legal requirements. We are also working towards Leaping Bunny certification for Boots own brand products.
Since 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 and since November 2017, only free-range eggs and free-range egg derived ingredients have been used for all Boots brand and exclusive food products developed with Boots.