At Superdrug, ‘Doing Good, Feels Super’ is more than just a mission statement; it’s the driving force behind what we do, especially when looking at our impact on the planet. As a leading health and beauty retailer, we want to provide our customers with products that are of great value and outstanding sustainability credentials, because why should you have to choose? With this in mind, we’d love to show you the key sustainability milestones we have hit whilst on our sustainability journey and our (big) plans for the future!
From Sustainable Packaging to Biodegradable Wipes, Here Are Some Sustainability Highlights So Far…
Changing Own Brand Cotton Buds From Plastic to Paper Stems
For many, cotton buds are one toiletry staple that we can’t be without! Although tiny, plastic buds can contribute to pollution of our waterways and cause harm to marine life.
So, back in 2016, we decided to change our Own Brand cotton buds from plastic stems to paper stems. While this may seem like a small change, making better choices in removing plastic from our products can create a big difference over time.
Removed Plastic Applicators From Own Brand Tampons
Did you know that over 200,000 tonnes of sanitary product material are believed to end up in a UK landfill every year? * With figures like this, we knew we had to do our bit. So, we are pleased to say that we are the first health and beauty retailer to ditch plastic applicators in Own Brand tampons.
Want to hear the best part? We’ve calculated that the discontinuation of our Own Brand plastic tampon applicators will save over 418kg of plastic each year! We are very proud to be leading the way on this front and being able to offer customers more products with eco-friendly packaging.
Launched Range of Organic Menstrual Products
To extend our sustainable menstrual product offering, we launched Luna, our first Own Brand range of sustainable period products. Made up of day and night towels and a liner, this range uses only sustainably sourced elements such as organic cotton and plant-based plastics. You can also be assured that our Luna packaging is ethically made using renewable plant-based packaging and Forest Stewardship Council certified wood. Yay for sustainable packaging!
Introduced Biodegradable Wipes
We all love face wipes for their convenience, whether you need a refresh on the go or want a hassle-free way of removing makeup after a long day. To give you an option that’s both kind to your skin AND the environment, we launched our Own Brand Biodegradable Cleansing Wipes made from sustainably sourced wood pulp and renewable plant fibres! Bonus points that they are vegan and dermatologically approved.
Joined New Plastics Economy Global Commitment
In 2020, we led the way as the first health and beauty retailer in the UK to join the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. Which, if you didn’t know, is quite a big deal…
Together, with over 500 like-minded organisations, we will help promote a circular approach to plastic usage, driven by the goal of tackling plastic pollution at its source!
Opened Most Sustainable Superdrug Store
To take our sustainability efforts to the next level, in 2021 Superdrug opened its most sustainable store to date, offering shoppers a more sustainable shopping experience. The Peterborough Serpentine Green store focuses on sustainability within all aspects of the shop design and construction.
The objective of the Peterborough store was to create a Store Design that minimises the environmental impact of the materials we use, the construction phase and the full lifecycle of the store including the end of life disposal whilst maintaining the brand identity our customers know and love.
– 7% reduction in materials used including reduced lighting, reduced flooring and reduced plasterboard
– A 61% increase in energy efficient equipment, recycled and/or recyclable materials including:
– Fully recyclable internal signage that features graphics produced from recycled yarn and plastic bottles
– Ceiling tiles made from bio-soluble mineral wool, clay and starch as well as being 100% recyclable
– A 5,800 KWh reduction in annual energy consumption from all sales lighting which is the equivalent 1,200 kgCO2e annual reduction
– A minimum 95% of waste from the site was recycled
The concept of a Sustainable Store was initiated by A.S. Watson Group (ASW) “Millennials CSR Committee” in 2020; the Millennials group was created in Q4 2019, with a mandate to be ASW’s UN Sustainable Development Goal accelerator team. The best practices from the Superdrug Peterborough store have been compiled into the Greener Store Framework that other AS Watson business units will implement.
Serpentine Green is Superdrug’s most sustainable store yet, but this is not a one off and we will continue to reduce the environmental impact of new stores, refits and the existing store estate.
We will do this by continuing to review our specifications and processes by following a Good, Better, Best approach and in 2022 all Principal Contractors will have achieved the ISO14001 Environmental Management Standard.
The primary focus of the project was to reduce the environmental impact of store fit outs but the trading store will use 100% zero carbon energy and will be 100% diversion from landfill.
Customer Recycling Schemes
We understand that not all of the packaging we sell is currently recyclable at home and it can be tricky to know what and what not to recycle. This is one of the reasons we have partnered with Maybelline for an in-store cosmetics recycling scheme!
You can return your empty medicine blister packs and ensure that they are recycled and not sent to landfill. Doing good really does feel super!
For a deep dive into all of our recycling opportunities, click here.
In true Superdrug style, we’re happy with our progress but are always striving to do better! Check out some of our key goals for 2025 that are in the pipeline:
Some of Our Doing Good Feels Super Goals:
– 100% of packaging from our Own Brand products to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable
– 100% of the paper and pulp we use in our Own Brand products and packaging will be certified sustainable
– Achieve net zero deforestation for all own brand products
– 100% of the palm oil in our Own Brand products will be sustainable
– Reduce our Scope 1 and 2 Emissions from Energy and Logistics by 95% vs a 2010 Benchmark
– Reuse, recycle or compost 95% of the operational waste generated from our Stores, Distribution Centres and Offices
Find out more about our continued corporate social responsibility developments below!