As the world’s largest international health and beauty retailer, A.S. Watson has been committed to reducing its business’ environmental impact and tackling climate change. It has already achieved its previous greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets by the end of 2021 and now further announces new targets to accelerate its contribution to the fight against the climate change.
In 2019, A.S. Watson released a GHG emissions reduction target to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions by 40% by 2030, from a 2015 baseline. Racing ahead of schedule, it has already overshot this target and achieved 42% by the end of 2021. With such significant progress, now A.S. Watson announces new emissions reduction targets. These include:
1. Reducing Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 50% by 2030 from a 2018 baseline
2. Reducing Scope 3 GHG Emissions from purchased goods and services, upstream transportation and distribution by 58% per dollar economic value added by 2030 from a 2018 baseline
3. Pledging that 33% of its suppliers by emissions covering purchased goods and services, upstream transportation and distribution will have science-based targets (SBTs) by 2027
Malina Ngai, group chief operating Officer of A.S. Watson and CEO of A.S. Watson (Asia and Europe), says: “At A.S. Watson, we made it our purpose to do the right things for our customers and the planet today and tomorrow. Sustainability is a hurdle race. It takes determination and perseverance to get over barriers. We can’t do it alone. We believe partnerships with our suppliers and customers can make bigger impact together.”
“These new GHG emissions reduction targets are proof of our commitment to accelerate our sustainability efforts to build a better world for all.” she adds. “On top of our actions to fight climate change, we’ve also reinforced our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), extending our coverage to 15 out of 17 UNSDGs which include the usage of clean energy and the introduction of climate actions.”
Kicking off with greener stores
A.S. Watson understands that everything starts with its stores so Greener Stores Global Framework was just launched in April to accelerate its own transformation of retail towards lower-environmental impact stores. It hopes to leverage on its scale for good to speed up the global movement towards a more sustainable future.
Since 74% of the company’s GHG emissions were attributable to electricity consumption in 2021, creating efficient electricity grids is now a top priority for A.S. Watson. Enhancing energy efficiency and using renewable energy are thus two key focuses of the Greener Stores Global Framework. To support this mission, a global energy management programme was established since 2014 to monitor local energy saving initiatives.
Supporting the growth of green energy is just as important to reduce GHG emissions. A.S. Watson has already achieved 100% renewable electricity for its businesses in three major European markets. These include Superdrug, Savers, The Perfume Shop, Kruidvat, Trekpleister and ICI PARIS XL in the UK, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Renewable electricity now makes up 86% of A.S. Watson’s European portfolio.
Going green with customers
A.S. Watson has always been at the forefront of promoting and inspiring a culture of sustainability amongst its customers. Through the operations of its everyday retail stores, it has always encouraged customers to choose more sustainable products and a greener lifestyle. A.S. Watson believes that The New Beautiful is more than just skin deep, and is about how people treat themselves, do good to each other as well as the planet.
To celebrate the World Environment Day, Watsons plans to launch a first-of-its-kind Sustainability VR Hub in the markets including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and Turkey in order to promote and motivate its customers to make behavioral changes that would contribute to a more sustainable planet. It will offer customers an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience to help them learn more about how they can help the environment and how to fight against climate change.
Ngai concludes, “The Future is Now. As a leader in the health and beauty retail industry, we want to lead by example in minimising our impact on our planet, engaging and educating our customers, and inspiring our business partners to make the world a better place together. We believe that every small and big step we are taking now will make a huge impact in the future.”
A.S. Watson has released its 2021 Sustainability Report which outlines its sustainability efforts and achievements. It has not only been working to build greener stores but also create a culture of sustainability inside and outside the organisation. As we are now living a new normal, the report also outlines A.S. Watson’s global efforts to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the past two years and how it’s ready to put a smile on its customers’ faces today and tomorrow.