In January 2018, Walgreens communicated with Friends of the Earth stating that the company had a goal to grow its organic product count by 50% in fiscal year ‘20 and another 50% in fiscal year ’21, taking the company to 20 items total.
Walgreens does not have a written, publicly available pollinator health policy for food and beverage supply chains that addresses the need to reduce use of pesticides of concern to pollinator and human health and to expand healthy, bee-friendly organic offerings. A strong policy would include shifting to least-toxic farming approaches in order to avoid regrettable substitution of one toxic pesticide with another. The ecological farming methods that underpin organic farming, integrated pest management and regenerative agriculture reduce farmers’ overall need for pesticides.
Walgreens reported having measurably expanded its organic offerings in 2017. However, the company’s 2018 and 2019 annual reports and Corporate Social Responsibility reports do not discuss organic sales.
Walgreens has not taken any other discernible action to reduce use of pesticides of concern to pollinator and human health or expand organic farming and other least-toxic approaches in its supply chains. The actions we evaluated include: 1) tracking use of pesticides in company supply chains, 2) measurably reducing pesticide use in the past three years and publicly reporting on data, 3) supporting farmers in non-organic supply chains to shift to least-toxic approaches such as integrated pest management and regenerative agriculture, 4) measurably expanding organic offerings in the past three years, 5) demonstrating support for U.S. growers to transition to organic farming, and 6) demonstrating advocacy for public policies aimed at reducing agricultural pesticide use, protecting pollinators and supporting the expansion of organic agriculture in the U.S.
Walgreens does not have publicly available commitments or policies related to reducing use of pesticides of concern to pollinators and human health in its supply chain or expanding organic offerings and other least-toxic alternatives. Walgreens does not appear to include reduction of pesticides of concern to pollinators and human health or expansion of organic offerings in company Key Performance Indicators or other formal sustainability criteria. Walgreens does not have educational content online about pesticides or organic farming, such as a full definition of the USDA certified organic label (prohibition of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, GMOs, antibiotics, and growth hormones, and promotion of farming methods that protect soil, water and biodiversity) or content on the value to pollinator and human health of decreasing use of toxic pesticides and expanding organic offerings.
Walgreens has communicated with Friends of the Earth by email or phone in the past year.
Walgreens has not made a public commitment to reduce or phase out use of neonicotinoids in live goods and garden plants. Walgreens has not made a public commitment to remove neonicotinoid or glyphosate products from store shelves.