Watsons takes bold steps to meet sustainability goals, says retailer in its 1st Sustainability Report

Watsons Philippines has taken bold steps—from making changes in how the stores operate to empowering customers with information about sustainability—to achieve its goals consistent with its proposition of Look Good DO GOOD Feel Great, the retailer said in its Sustainability Report Philippines 2021, Doing Good For The Community and Planet.

Watsons has approached sustainability in the most dynamic way. The retailer has spread awareness and conversion to a sustainable lifestyle through various efforts such as holding informative and educational webinars with KOLs and influencers to spread the word about the importance of living more sustainably and creating a stronger presence and a permanent store corner for Sustainable Choices. Watsons also held a Supplier’s Day event where the retailer shared its vision with supplier partners and asked them to provide new product developments that would meet strict sustainability criteria.

Aside from encouraging better manufacturing practices and responsible purchase decisions, Watsons also partnered with Plastic Bank, a social enterprise that collects and recycles plastic bottles while providing livelihood to registered collectors.

Watsons released the sustainability report as part of taking responsibility to help lead the way to a sustainable future and give the public a clear focus on its priorities which are covered under the 4 Pillars of Community, People, Customers, and the Planet.

As the leading pharmacy in the Philippines, Watsons’ goal is to uplift the health and wellbeing of the Community. Realizing that the company’s strength lies in its People, Watsons also makes sure its workforce is healthy and resilient. It recognizes the value of involving its millions of Customers in adapting to more sustainable lifestyles by providing more sustainable options.

Watsons also aims to reduce the environmental footprint of its store operations, which is a responsibility of every business to manage its carbon emissions and help save the Planet.

In the report, the retailer also laid out its 2030 sustainability goals and forecasts anchored on the 4 Pillars. By 2030, Watsons will have sponsored 3,300 cleft and/or palate surgeries to help improve children’s lives and have provided free medicines to 20,000 people for the Community. It would have Health & Wellbeing Certification GOLD Investors in People by 2025. Around this time, Watsons expects 15% of its sales to come from the Sustainable Choices selection and to collect 65,000kg of trash.

Further mitigation of the effects of its store operations on the planet by reducing electricity intensity by 10% vs 2015 is also in its the pipeline. It also aims to recover and recycle 40 million plastic bottles and reduce by 50% scopes 1&2 GHG emissions vs 2018.

“Sustainability is being able to do successful business while positively impacting everything around it, including employees, suppliers, customers, and the planet. Gaining the support of our suppliers, employees, and customers for our sustainability programs has been one of our biggest achievements. We believe businesses must do more for the planet and we are happy to take the lead as a retailer,” said Watsons Philippines General Manager Danilo Chiong in the report.

As of end-2021, 100% of Watsons stores have been using LED lights and appliances with inverter technology and has more than 1,200 products under the Sustainable Choices category on the shelves. These Sustainable Choices products are free from harmful ingredients (Clean Beauty), made of responsibly sourced palm oil and other ingredients (Better Ingredients), use FSC or recycled paper, recycled plastic, or have no plastic at all (Better Packaging), and promote the concept of refill.

Watsons is not just adding products to stores but influencing trends and behaviors for the future, recognizing that customer preferences shift, and demand for sustainable choices will grow.

“As we continue to learn, to educate and innovate, we expect that our products, processes, and customers will also evolve. Even now, we have plans to begin installing refill stations for liquid products in our 1,000th store. As a leading health and beauty retailer, we feel the responsibility to be agents of change, and provide opportunities for our shoppers and partners to be able to do good too,” said Chiong.

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