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CVS Pharmacy Pollinator & Pest Management policy

We are dedicated to providing our customers with quality store brand products. Our robust standards seek to ensure the highest level of product quality and safety. We strive to meet evolving consumer and supply chain partner needs by evaluating the environmental and social sustainability of our products and value chains as we support the environment and our communities through every meaningful moment of their health.

Pollinators, including birds, bats, insects, and especially bees, are vital to ensuring the health and dependability of the global food supply system. It is estimated that one out of every three bites of food you take exists because of pollinators.1 However, research shows pollinator populations around the world are in decline due to a combination of factors including pesticides, climate change, habitat loss, poor nutrition, and pathogens. In addition to the negative effects seen in pollinator populations, some of these same chemicals used in pest management practices and products have been linked to significant health hazards for agricultural workers and the communities surrounding agricultural lands.

We commit to work with our partners to take appropriate steps to advance health and safety throughout our supply chain for humans and pollinators alike. To that end, we have conducted an audit of pesticide use and practices in key categories in our private label supply chain aimed at identifying any opportunities to address ongoing threats to pollinators and human health. We strongly encourage all suppliers of our store brand food and beverage products to consider the following practices:

  1. Health and safety regulations: The application of any chemicals or pesticides should be done in a manner consistent with the most current local and federal laws, regulations, and guidelines. Suppliers should also adhere to the CVS Health Code of ConductSupplier Ethical Standards, and Human Rights Policy.

  2. Pollinator health: Pesticides of particular concern to pollinator health that we strongly encourage our suppliers to avoid where possible include:

    • Organophosphates – A class of insecticides, including the controversial chlorpyrifos, a chemical recently revoked of all “tolerances” on food by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).2

    • Neonicotinoids – A class of insecticides affecting the central nervous system of insects, severely restricted and prohibited in major international markets.3

    • Glyphosate – Also known by the brand name Roundup, is the most widely used agricultural, commercial and residential herbicide in the world.

    • View a list of additional pesticides identified as potentially toxic to pollinators.

  3. Alternative chemicals: When phasing out the use of pesticides identified as harmful, suppliers are encouraged to avoid “regrettable substitutions,” a term for the replacement of harmful chemicals with a harmful alternative. To assist with this process, suppliers can reference this list of pesticides identified as acutely toxic to pollinators.

  4. Alternative practices: We will promote the use of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies, including the adoption of least-toxic approaches to pest management across our full Store Brand supply chain.

    • Support and encourage the adoption of organic agricultural practices whenever possible.

  5. Bee certified products: We will encourage suppliers to obtain pollinator-friendly certifications for products, such as Bee-Better Certified.

  6. Support pollinator habitat: With our supply chain partners, we can bolster healthier pollinator populations by conserving and creating pollinator habitats. Habitats provide pollinators with nesting and feeding grounds with adequate nutrition from host plants.

We are committed to continuing to evaluate best practices in this area and will evaluate new evidence, regulations, and guidelines to update this policy on an annual basis.

We will offer trainings for partners within our supply chain on sustainable approaches to pesticide management in alignment with this policy.

1 Klein AM., Vaissiere B, Cane JH, Steffan-Dewenter I, Cunningham SA, Kremen C (2007) Importance of crop pollinators in changing landscapes for world crops. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 274: 303–313