Our Stories

Our commitment to protecting the Antarctic Ocean

09 July 2018

Our business has been built by acting and being responsible for almost 170 years, and protecting the environment has always been a central part of this.

It’s critically important to us that all of our products are sourced responsibly and sustainably. We were among the first retailers to only sell pole and line caught tuna, introduce rolled paper cotton buds, reformulate our rinse off products to eliminate plastic microbeads, and we have held a commitment against any testing on animals for almost 45 years.

Our customers trust us to do the right thing, and we will always work with the industry to improve our practices.

Today, a group of the largest krill fishing companies have made a commitment to voluntarily stop fishing operations in some areas around the Antarctic Peninsula including ‘buffer zones’ around breeding colonies of penguins.

The companies have also pledged to support the scientific and political process for the creation of a network of large-scale marine protected areas in the Antarctic, including areas in which they currently operate. The companies are all members of the Association of Responsible Krill harvesting companies (ARK), and represent 85% of the krill fishing industry in the Antarctic.

Elizabeth Fagan, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Boots, said: “We are absolutely committed to playing our part in safeguarding important marine ecosystems for future generations.  We’ve been working with our supplier, Aker Biomarine for many years to source only Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified krill, and since April, we have also worked collaboratively with Greenpeace, the MSC, and the wider industry to make sure that a commitment is made to the voluntary implementation of protected fishing zones. This will be a significant and positive first step towards the establishment a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Antarctic, which we believe are important to ensuring the long-term protection and resilience of ocean systems, and safeguarding penguin populations. We’re therefore pleased that the BRC is now coordinating action amongst other retailers in this important topic."

Krill is a small crustacean which is a keystone species in the Antarctic food web, eaten by penguins, seals, whales and other marine life.