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CVS’ Annual ESG Report Highlights Community Health

Other topics addressed include diversity, equity, inclusion, climate action, human capital
Julio Sanchez
CVS Health ESG Main Image
CVS' ESG accomplishments in 2021 included launching more than 300 new HealthHUB locations and providing 159 million-plus meals for individuals suffering from food insecurity.

CVS has released its 15th annual environmental, social and governance (ESG) report, which details the company’s long-term goals and details about key initiatives.

The report showed that stakeholders continue to align to CVS’ Healthy 2030 strategy, which reflects a continuous increase in the importance and prioritization of topics addressing diversity, equity, inclusion, climate action, human capital and health. The report also described how CVS has committed to the strategy by providing 65 billion health care interactions to individuals, investing more than $1 billion to build healthier communities while trying to reduce its environmental impact by 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

“I am proud to be able to share our ongoing work to strengthen our communities, empower our colleagues, and act as exceptional stewards of our environment in our 2021 ESG Report,” said CVS EVP Laurie Havanec. 

To reduce long-standing health disparities during 2021, the drug store chain provided more than 32 million COVID-19 tests and 59 million-plus COVID-19 vaccine doses, and invested more than $185 million in affordable-housing projects.  

Other accomplishments that the company achieved over the past year included launching more than 300 new HealthHUB locations and providing 159 million-plus meals for individuals suffering from food insecurity.

Every two years, the company carries out a full prioritization assessment to better reflect its growing business, strategy and stakeholder expectations. In 2021, it conducted a comprehensive ESG prioritization assessment in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative Standards.

CVS also released a new pollinator health policy that encourages suppliers to reduce the use of pollinator-toxic pesticides, making it the 11th major grocery retailer, following such companies as Walmart and Giant Eagle, to establish a pollinator policy addressing pesticides such as neonicotinoids, organophosphates and glyphosate. The new policy recognizes the harmful effects that chemicals have on the environment and on farmworkers. It also advises organic suppliers to adopt less-toxic approaches to pest management after identifying organic agriculture as a solution for pollinator health.

According to research, pollinator populations around the world are in decline due to a combination of factors such as pesticides and pathogens – some of the same chemicals used in pest management practices and products.

“After another year of devastating losses to bees, all grocery retailers must accelerate their commitment to protect pollinators by setting measurable goals to eliminate bee-toxic pesticides in their food supply chains,” said Kendra Klein, PhD, senior scientist at Friends of the Earth, a nonprofit international membership organization based in Washington, D.C., and Berkeley, Calif. “And as CVS’ policy calls out, reducing use of toxic pesticides to protect pollinators can also benefit human health, including protecting vulnerable workers on the frontlines of exposure, farmworkers and their communities.” 

With its CVS Pharmacy subsidiary operating almost 10,000 locations nationwide, Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health is No. 7 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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