We recognize the health of the environment is inextricably linked to the health of all people and we are taking bold climate action to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve. This Earth Day, we are highlighting the work we’ve done and continue to do to utilize our community presence, diverse assets and expertise to improve the health of the planet.
Last year, we set a new goal to reduce our overall environmental impact by at least 50% by 2030, which underscores our commitment to doing our part to reduce our environmental impacts. Key accomplishments in 2021 include:
Became one of the first companies in the world to have its net-zero targets validated by the Science-Based Targets Initiative's net-zero methodology
Diverted 50 percent of all waste to recycling or reuse
Established new policies for anti-deforestation, forestry, timber commodities, pollinator and pest management and water
Saved 33,500 MWh of energy through efficiency programs to reach our goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050
Transitioned 740 CVS Pharmacy locations to energy-saving LED lighting
Eliminated 500,000 in empty miles through backhaul program
To achieve our long-term goals, we recognize the need for robust investment in renewable energy. We are exploring renewable energy alternatives for three to five percent of its current energy demand. We are developing a strategic pathway to add five percent annually to achieve its 50 percent renewable energy goal by 2040.
We share many people’s concerns about the impact of single-use plastics on our environment and believe the retail bag needs reinventing and have invested $5 million in the Consortium’s three-year Beyond the Bag Initiative. The Beyond the Bag Initiative aims to identify, pilot and implement new design solutions and models to create an improved customer experience without unintended environmental consequences.
We continue to strive to reduce the use of plastic and virgin materials and ensure recyclability for the packaging of all Store Brand products. We have converted all our Store Brand woman hygiene products to sustainable organic cotton in 2021 and expanded these efforts to reduce plastic.
We know water usage is closely linked to environmental protection and equity resource management. And while we are not a large consumer of water, we recognize the link between water use and climate change. This is why the majority of our water use supports standard sanitation, hygiene and fire protection systems in our stores and facilities. In 2021, we introduced a water reduction goal to ensure transparency regarding our water impacts.
As our colleagues return to corporate office spaces in 2022, we will be conducting baseline waste audits of these buildings to evaluate and develop a zero-waste program. Additionally, we have been embedding sustainability within our supply chain. In our operational facilities, including the distribution centers, we actively engage with our suppliers to identify options to reduce waste.
Most recently, we released our ESG Report, which outlines our commitment to positively impacting the people and communities we serve while supporting the health of the planet. Learn more about our sustainability efforts here.