• by Richard Ellis, CSR Director at Alliance Boots
  • Jul 11, 2013

Our CSR activities are intrinsically linked to our operations. In helping people to look and feel their best, we live and breathe CSR values and our major efforts in supporting the fight against cancer is a natural extension of these activities.

Our Group’s pan-European partnership with the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Charitable Trust is to fund the creation of a Biobank to research new treatments for colorectal cancer. This complements local collaborations with cancer support charities, for example between Boots UK and Macmillan Cancer Support, and Boots Ireland and the Irish Cancer Society. We are supporting the fight against cancer at every level – from research to helping families to live with the disease.

Cancer has a huge affect on the health and wellbeing of our society… and by extension our customers. For example we know that in the UK every two minutes someone is diagnosed with cancer, while more than one in three people in the UK will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime .

We can support, educate and inform people and raise awareness through our network of pharmacies. We can also bring together our employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to raise funds to support these activities and research-led initiatives.

The social impact of our partnership with the EORTC Charitable Trust is potentially huge. Our pledge to raise €5 million by 2016 for the EORTC Charitable Trust will develop an entirely new range of personalised treatments which will use genetic markers to ensure that they are as effective as possible. Colorectal cancer is the world’s third most common and responsible for the deaths of around 222,000 people a year across Europe. Through this project we hope to improve survival rates.

Social impact can also have a positive benefit in reinforcing the position of trust held by Boots UK on the high street, and adding extra value to our pharmacists’ offering. For example, the Boots UK partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support has led us to develop around 1,350 Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists, who have bespoke training to support customers affected by the disease and to signpost them to further specialist cancer information and support if needed. Macmillan Cancer Support has a mission to provide help to every person affected by Cancer in the UK, and our partnership is a real, tangible way in which we have helped them towards this goal, while increasing our offering, and reinforcing our position of trust.

As an international, pharmacy-led health and beauty group, with a presence in over 25* countries, we are committed to the health and wellbeing of the local communities we serve. The positive social impact of our activities in supporting the fight against cancer, whether through finding new ways to combat it or helping those living with the disease, is one of the ways we ensure that remain close to the needs of local communities around the world, no matter where we are working.

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