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Walgreens Boots Alliance celebrates latest CSR achievements

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens Boots Alliance is setting the pace on sustainability issues from health care and combatting climate change to promoting diversity and fostering inclusion as evidenced in its new 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report published Friday.

Leveraging its scale and business values as well as the strong CSR heritage of its legacy companies, Walgreens Boots Alliance made significant strides during fiscal 2017, hitting important milestones and setting out new commitments within its 12 CSR goals.

[quote-from-article] “Corporate Social Responsibility sits at the heart of Walgreens Boots Alliance. Throughout 2017, we continued to demonstrate how we as a company embed our CSR values in everything we do,” stated Ornella Barra, Walgreens Boots Alliance co-COO and chairman of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. “I am immensely proud of the positive impact our initiatives have on millions of lives around the world. By building on our successes and creating long-term collaborations with partner organizations, we aim for the biggest possible positive impact in our areas of focus. For us, this is quite simply the right thing to do.”

Through its CSR strategy and goals, Walgreens Boots Alliance continues to support the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and is committed to aligning its activities to support all 17 of the SDGs, which include goals to end poverty, take action on climate change, improve access to health and education and build strong institutions.

“We are dedicated to CSR because we see it as driving a sustainable and profitable enterprise,” added Stefano Pessina, Walgreens Boots Alliance executive vice chairman and CEO. “As a health and wellbeing company, we operate in markets where ethical behavior is of utmost importance. We strive to be a responsible neighbor in the communities we serve, to protect the planet for the future, to do business with integrity and to treat our people and our customers with dignity and respect.”

Highlights from the 2017 CSR Report include:

  • In the U.S. Walgreens expanded programs to combat opioid abuse through medication disposal kiosks (more than 150 tons of unused medications have been collected and disposed of since 2016) and through work to make naloxone, a lifesaving opioid antidote, available without requiring a prescription at its pharmacies in 45 states;
  • Boots UK employees and customers have raised more than £15 million ($24 million) for Macmillan Cancer Support over eight years, and more than 2,200 Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists have been trained to offer support to cancer patients and their loved ones;
  • Walgreens expanded its partnership with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, including training for pharmacists to help patients who are taking blood cancer medication;
  • Walgreens continued its support of the Red Nose Day annual campaign, raising more than $20 million with 10.6 million noses sold, which helps to provide nutritious meals, essential medicine, clean water and other vital aid and services to children in need in the U.S. and in other countries;
  • During fiscal 2017 Walgreens Boots Alliance decreased its total carbon footprint by 6.5% from the previous year, through energy efficiency programs and projects; and
  • During fiscal 2017 Boots UK achieved its CO2 reduction target three years ahead of schedule, cutting emissions by 33% in Boots stores that were open in 2005.

 

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Nature’s Truth packs supplement punch into new powder format

BY Michael Johnsen

Nature’s Truth this week announced the introduction of five new farm-fresh powders to their expanding product line. The new, innovative powders supply nutrients in a convenient way that goes beyond the traditional capsule or tablet that consumers are used to.

“Consumers have begun to look for alternate ways to consume the key ingredients they love that better fits their on-the-go lifestyle, which is why we’ve created our new powders," stated Kimberly Vigliante, senior vice president sales and marketing for the Ronkonkoma, N.Y.-based firm. "Not only do they contain the trending ingredients consumers are looking for, but they are an easy addition to any routine.”

Of the many powders featured in the new line, Nature's Truth identified its pure turmeric powder and its ultra beet root powder (antioxidant and fiber-rich) as two key additions. Both powders are a convenient addition to any consumer’s busy routine by just adding a scoop to their favorite recipe or smoothie.

Each powder contains organic ingredients, is non-GMO, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, free of artificial colors, preservative free and free of any artificial flavors. With this new product line, Nature’s Truth provides retailers with incremental sales opportunities by expanding their wellness category and consumers’ baskets.

 

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Sears Holdings axes 64 Kmart stores in latest round of closings

BY David Salazar

Sears Holdings has announced more than 100 store closings, which include 39 Sears locations and 64 Kmart stores as part of its latest round of efforts to shrink its footprint. The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company said that the stores would begin liquidation sales as early as January 12, with the first round of closings beginning in early March, continuing through early April.

“Sears Holdings continues its strategic assessment of the productivity of our Kmart and Sears store base and will continue to right size our store footprint in number and size,” the company said in a statement. “In the process, as previously announced we will continue to close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members.”

Other efforts that Sears Holdings have undertaken lately as it weathers headwinds— most recently posting a net loss attributable to shareholders of $558 million in its third quarter 2017 — include reducing the number of pharmacies in open Kmart stores. The company has attributed this move as a contributor to revenue decline. For Q3 2017, Sears Holdings posted a $1.3 billion decline in revenue compared with the prior-year Q3. Kmart comparable-store sales declined 13% for the quarter, with Sears comps dropping 17%.

A call inquiring about the number of pharmacies on the chopping block as a result of these closings was not immediately returned. 

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