Ornella Barra, Co-Chief Operating Officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. Leader of Corporate Social Responsibility accepting on behalf of the Company the United Nations Foundation Global Leadership Award

Delivering a CSR program that makes us proud

In the past year, I was often reminded of how much this Company inspires me. I witnessed first-hand many examples of local initiatives from our businesses around the globe that demonstrate how CSR activities are truly embedded in our work. These initiatives take on even greater significance as part of our CSR strategy, through which we prioritize our responsibility to the community, environmental protection, doing business fairly and treating our people with respect and dignity.

I had the privilege of visiting our distribution center in Windsor, Connecticut, USA, where specialized workstations address the needs of employees with disabilities. I felt proud of Walgreens Boots Alliance’s long-term commitment to creating job opportunities for people of all abilities. At an EnergyCare event at our Nottingham support office I learned more about how we encourage energy efficiency consciousness in our teams. I was touched by the passion our colleagues show for social, healthcare and environmental issues.

In our first full fiscal year as a combined Company we strengthened our existing activities by increasing the scale of our impact and sharing best practices. We expanded successful local initiatives – for example our U.S. stores raised $20 million in fiscal 2016 for Red Nose Day, more than double the amount raised in the previous year.

As committed global citizens we choose to aim high, and have set challenging goals in 12 areas connected to our business activities, including helping to fight cancer, reducing waste and energy consumption, driving ethical sourcing practices and promoting equal opportunities throughout the Company.

We aspire to be a standout global CSR company; I am pleased to report that in fiscal 2016 we achieved important milestones such as providing life-changing vitamins to nearly 100 million children and mothers in at-risk populations through our support of Vitamin Angels, harmonizing our ethical sourcing policies and piloting a zero waste to landfill distribution center in the USA.

The United Nations Foundation recognized our ongoing commitment to CSR, honoring us in October 2016 with its Global Leadership Award. The foundation cited our commitment to the U.N.’s recently published Sustainable Development Goals through the Get a Shot. Give a Shot. campaign, which helped provide life-saving vaccines to more than 15 million children worldwide over the past three years.

By remaining dedicated to causes, we have made a substantial impact in the area of cancer research. An example is the partnership dating to 2011 with the EORTC Cancer Research Fund to support the first pan-European Biobank for colorectal cancer. We continue to raise funds for EORTC through numerous employee-led events. By the end of fiscal 2016, 1,100 patients from 11 European countries had enrolled in the biobank, a unique platform to develop personalized treatments.

From my heart, I want to take this opportunity to thank our employees, suppliers and partners for showing they care, by supporting and delivering a CSR program that makes us proud. 

Ornella Barra
Co-Chief Operating Officer
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
Leader of Corporate Social Responsibility

16 February 2017

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