CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid published on Monday its second annual corporate social responsibility report, highlighting significant progress across environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts, and demonstrating Rite Aid’s commitment to promoting whole-being health in the lives of customers, associates and communities.
In particular, the report showed how Rite Aid’s efforts to offer cleaner, better-for-you products led to recognition from the annual “Who’s Minding The Store?” retailer report card as the leading traditional drug store chain for addressing and removing harmful chemicals from products sold.
“After laying out our vision to evolve our business from a traditional retail drug store chain to a modern, pharmacy-first destination for whole-being health, we are committed more than ever to sustainable ESG initiatives that will help transform our role in the health care sector,” said Jim Peters, chief operating officer, Rite Aid. “To fulfill our mission of supporting the holistic health needs of the communities we serve, we have shifted our merchandise assortment to ensure clean, safe product ingredients, while also reducing our environmental footprint. I’m especially proud that Rite Aid has earned recognition for addressing and removing harmful chemicals from the products we sell.”
The report measures Rite Aid’s performance over the past year in fostering sustainability and building on its pledge to be a socially responsible organization that delivers the highest level of value-based care. This year’s report illustrates progress across various environmental, social and governance initiatives and identifies key opportunities to help further Rite Aid’s sustainability and social responsibility journey moving forward. Over the 2020 fiscal year, Rite Aid made significant strides to lead a more environmentally sustainable business with investments to improve energy and fleet fuel efficiency, as well as reduce waste.
Additionally, the drug store chain has made efforts to improve the health and wellness of the community by progressing efforts in managing critical health issues, expanding the role of the pharmacist, and promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace, from stores to the executive leadership team and board of directors. Highlights from this year’s report include:
Community Commitment: Improving Whole-Being Health
- In 2019, Rite Aid was recognized as the top traditional drug store chain for its efforts to address and remove harmful chemicals in products sold, as part of the annual “Who’s Minding the Store?” retailer report card. View the report card here: https://retailerreportcard.com/
- To support a sustainable food system and protect pollinator health, Rite Aid has encouraged all food and beverage suppliers to reduce use of pollinator-toxic pesticides in their supply chains and has expanded organic offerings, introducing nearly 150 new organic food items in 2019.
- To empower pharmacists chain-wide to act as whole-health advocates, Rite Aid is implementing a series of initiatives including using LEAN training to free up pharmacists’ time, enhancing its assortment of better-for-you products, re-designing store layouts, and expanding telehealth to connect consumers to their care teams.
- This past year, Rite Aid raised significant awareness around important health issues, becoming the first major drugstore chain to completely remove e-cigarette and vaping products from its inventory, increasing the age to purchase tobacco to 21 and progressing its efforts to manage the opioid crisis through awareness, education and proper medication disposal.
- Rite Aid’s team of more than 50,000 associates makes it possible to improve the health and wellness of the communities it serves. Rite Aid remains committed to supporting a diverse work environment, most notably by significantly increasing female management representation across every business category over the past year.
Environmental Sustainability: Responsibly Managing Energy & Waste
- Rite Aid continued to foster a sustainable environment by installing LED lighting in more stores across the chain to increase energy efficiency, demonstrating a 33% improvement in annual electric consumption and an 8% increase in the number of in-store installations compared to last year.
- Rite Aid elevated its partnership with 3 Phases Renewables to provide 50% renewable power for select stores in Southern California.
- To reduce fuel consumption, Rite Aid began installing aerodynamic skirts on the fleet of trailers that service Rite Aid’s distribution centers, contributing to an anticipated 4% improvement in overall fuel economy for these fleets.
- Throughout 2019, Rite Aid diverted more than 51,000 tons of recyclable material from landfills through ongoing recycling efforts.
The framework for this report was based on guidance from Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) as well as feedback from key internal and external stakeholders. To learn more about Rite Aid’s progress and goals pertaining to CSR initiatives, the entire report can be found here.