Solar panels in a field

Our goal is to reduce our energy consumption and emissions on a comparable basis, as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Please read the stories below to learn more about our initiatives and progress in this area.

For a complete set of emissions and energy tables please see Energy Data.

Progress on emissions reduction

Walgreens Boots Alliance reduced its carbon footprint in fiscal 2017 compared with the previous year, mainly due to lower electricity consumption in its largest businesses, Walgreens and Boots UK. Energy efficiency programs and projects including lighting upgrades, replacement of heating and cooling equipment and a widening campaign to raise awareness and change energy culture all contributed to the reduction. Weather conditions were also a factor.

Our total carbon footprint in fiscal 2017 was 2.3 million metric tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent), down 6.5 percent from fiscal 2016. Some 86 percent of total CO2e emissions came from energy used to power stores and warehouses, followed by 12 percent from product delivery and 2 percent from business travel.
Total Company CO2e emissions, by source
(000 metric tonnes)
Fiscal 20171 Fiscal 2016 Year on year change (%)
Energy 2,011 2,142 -6.1
Product delivery 272 305 -10.8
Business Travel 58 57 +1.8
  2,341 2,504 -6.5
Total Company CO2e emissions by Scopes 1, 2 and 32
(000 metric tonnes)
Fiscal 20171
Scopes 13
Scopes 24
Scopes 3 121

Boots UK achieves CO2 reduction target

During fiscal 2017 Boots UK achieved its CO2 reduction target three years ahead of schedule, cutting emissions by 33 percent in Boots stores that were open in 2005, based on the most recent UK conversion factors for greenhouse gas reporting. Boots UK had committed to a target of 30 percent emissions reduction by 2020, as part of the Mayday network of businesses that responded to a challenge from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to tackle climate change.

Walgreens on track to achieve energy use reduction target

Walgreens was on track in fiscal 2017 to reach its commitment to reduce energy use by 20 percent by 2020 across 100 million square feet of real estate in the U.S., compared with consumption data from fiscal 2011. This commitment was made through Walgreens partnership in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. As of 31 August 2016 Walgreens had accomplished a reduction of 12 percent, equivalent to a 60 percent completion of the goal.

Energy use reduction initiatives and investments

In the U.S., 264 Walgreens stores were retrofitted with exterior LED lighting during fiscal 2017, and more efficient and right-sized HVAC units were installed at 496 stores. Sustainability was built in to new beauty product displays installed in Walgreens stores during fiscal 2017.
In the UK, 285 Boots stores were retrofitted with LED lighting during fiscal 2017, and HVAC units were replaced and upgraded at 70 stores. Chiller doors were retrofitted in 10 stores during the fiscal year.

Sparking energy awareness

Our innovative EnergyCare program is designed to educate employees about energy waste and encourage an energy conscious culture. The program helps us to reduce emissions by developing energy targets, investing in and deploying energy efficient technology and proactive energy supply management, and to identify and develop renewable energy standards.
EnergyCare has helped to reduce energy consumption at Boots UK stores and at its support office in Nottingham in recent years and was introduced at the Walgreens support office in fiscal 2017.


The Walgreens fleet of 800 private trucks improved fuel efficiency by 16 CO2 grams per thousand cubic foot-miles, or 3.2 percent, in fiscal 2016 compared with fiscal 2015, according to the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Program.
Alliance Healthcare, our pharmaceutical wholesale business in the UK, has installed Lightfoot technology systems on more than 900 of its approximately 1,050 vans, achieving fuel savings for the fleet of more than $12,000 per week.

Charging stations for electric vehicles

Walgreens is a leading retail host of electric vehicle charging stations in the U.S., promoting choices by customers and neighbors to drive electric vehicles. As of 31 August 2017 approximately 400 electric vehicle charging stations were in operation at Walgreens locations. The charging stations are upgraded and maintained by a third party.


Walgreens Boots Alliance businesses generated close to 17,000 mWh of electricity through solar panels during fiscal 2017. A number of our businesses in the UK and Republic of Ireland – including Boots UK, Boots Opticians, Alloga UK, Alliance Healthcare in the UK and Boots Ireland – have contracts to purchase electricity generated from renewable origins. All electricity that these companies purchase directly through the utility grid is certified as renewable. The rest of the electricity consumed by these businesses is purchased by third parties, which limits their influence in buying power from renewable origins.

A new commitment on refrigerants

Walgreens Boots Alliance committed during fiscal 2017 to the CGF’s second Refrigeration Resolution to continue the phase out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which represent 1.5 percent of total global warming potential today.
In order to meet this commitment, we are working to understand our refrigerant data and to plan appropriate action.

CDP submission

Walgreens Boots Alliance received a score of C on its climate change submission to CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) for fiscal 2016, in line with the average scores for our business sector and for all companies. This was the first time the Company’s CDP submission included baseline data from all of our businesses. Submissions to the CDP in the climate category are rated on a scale of A to D-, for completeness, assessment of environmental issues and risks and the extent to which a company has implemented actions, policies and strategies to address these.

Emissions from business travel and product delivery

Our CO2e emissions from business travel rose in fiscal 2017 compared with the previous year due to a U.S. leaders meeting and increased international travel related to projects and owned brands activities, which was partly offset by a decrease in road travel as a result of stronger control measures. Product delivery emissions decreased due to new fuel efficient trucks in the U.S. and outsourcing and route efficiencies in the UK.
CO2e emissions from business travel, by Division
(000 metric tonnes)
Fiscal 20171 Fiscal 2016 Year on year  change (%)
Retail Pharmacy USA 27 26 +3.8

Retail Pharmacy International

18 17 +5.9
Pharmaceutical Wholesale 13 14 -7.1
  58 57 +1.8
CO2e emissions from product delivery, by Division
(000 metric tonnes)
Fiscal 20171 Fiscal 2016 Year on year change (%)
Retail Pharmacy USA 122 127 -3.9
Retail Pharmacy International 40 51 -21.6
Pharmaceutical Wholesale 110 127 -13.4
  272 305 -10.8

1 Fiscal 2017 data within Deloitte & Touche LLP’s review scope.
2 Scope 1 emissions are those generated directly from sources owned or controlled by the Company. Scope 2 emissions are those generated by purchased electricity, purchased heat and purchsed steam consumed by the Company. Scope 3 indirect emissions are those that are a consequence of Company activities, but occur from sources not owned or controlled by the Company. Walgreens Boots Alliance currently reports on business travel and downstream transportation and distribution Scope 3 emissions.
3 Not including CO2e emissions from energy produced by the Company's on-site Combined Heat & Power plant in Beeston, Nothingham, UK and sold to third parties off the grid, which were 19,000 metric tonnes in fiscal 2017.  
4 Scope 2 emissions calculated using a market-based method were 1,764,000 metric tonnes of CO2e in fiscal 2017.

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