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How we’re investing in our planet

April 19, 2023 |2 minute read time

man in Central California walks through green field on a sunny day

This year’s Earth Day highlights the importance of inspiring each of us to protect the health of our planet for ourselves and future generations.

Central California may grow most of the country’s fruits and vegetables, but that food is often out of reach for under-resourced communities.

“We are the fruit basket of the world,” says Kym Dildine, co-CEO of the Central California Food Bank. “But 1 in 4 residents in central California struggles with hunger on a daily basis.”

Climate change is only worsening the problem. Rising temperatures are contributing to heavier rains that have flooded California homes and farmlands, making it difficult to access healthy foods.

That’s why this year’s Earth Day highlights the importance of inspiring everyone to protect the health of our planet for ourselves and future generations.

Understanding that climate change is as much a health issue as it is an equity issue, CVS Health® is investing in sustainability initiatives nationwide. For example, we are working with Divert, Inc., to convert food waste from our retail locations into either food donations or renewable energy.

volunteers for The Central California Food Bank distribute foods donated

Central CA Food Bank volunteers distribute foods donated by CVS Health

Some of those donations go to the Central California Food Bank. For residents displaced by floods with no ability to cook, shelf-stable retail snacks like jerkies, nuts and granola donated by CVS Health provide more dietary choices.

“Nowhere is our work more urgent and interconnected than our contributions to efforts to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change,” says Sheryl Burke, Chief Sustainability Officer and SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility.

CVS Health’s partnership with Divert is part of the company’s broader efforts to reduce its environmental impact by at least 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, Sheryl explains.

In 2022, our sustainability achievements included:

  • Developing a roadmap to align with TRUE Zero Waste Certification standards in corporate facilities by 2030
  • Adding How2Recycle messaging across all store brand items
  • Transitioning 35 store brand cleansing wipes to a plant-based substrate
  • Migrating to 100% organic cotton across seven feminine care products
  • Piloting a rent-a-bag solution at select New Jersey stores and a bag-less pilot at select stores in Vermont
  • Protecting forests and pollinators like birds and bees by reducing the use of pesticides in its food supply chain

For Sheryl, these sustainability efforts are also personal.

"Whether we are making the health care experience simpler, reducing energy use or making investments to support under-resourced communities to improve health outcomes, we continue to put people at the heart of everything we do — and this commitment to helping all of those around us will never waver."