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NEW YORK, US: Henry Schein is one of the world’s largest distributors of dental and medical products, and the scale of its business requires great social and environmental responsibility. The company has underscored its commitments in these areas with the publication of its 2022 sustainability and corporate social responsibility report, in which it discloses its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and the steps it is taking to be a responsible and ethical business.
Titled Delivering Solutions for a Healthier Tomorrow, the report highlights Henry Schein’s efforts to promote sustainable business practices and to be a force for positive societal change. It also aligns the company’s disclosures with Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and Global Reporting Initiative standards.
Jennifer Kim Field was appointed the first chief sustainability officer at Henry Schein in late 2022. In the report, Field said that the company was approaching its climate and sustainability goals steadily and sensibly, aiming “not only [to] meet any global regulatory requirement but also to align with our stakeholders’ expectations and our own ambitions in doing what’s right for our people and the planet”. She said that the company was in a strong position to manage the sustainability of its operations and its social impact as an employer, taxpayer, business partner and member of the community.
Reported progress for 2022 towards the company’s sustainability and corporate social responsibility goals included:
- 76% electrification of its US fleet of forklift trucks (goal: 100% by 2025);
- 21% increase in recycling at its North American distribution centre (goal: 10% by 2025);
- setting a science-based net-zero target by the end of 2023;
- 2% increase in the number of women in global leadership roles and 4% increase in the ethnic diversity of managerial and higher roles in the US (goal: gender parity by 2030, ensuring leadership reflects demographics of customers and society);
- education of 99% of global directors and vice presidents on key concepts of diversity and inclusion (goal: education of all managers globally by 2023); and
- donation of US$28.8 million in cash and product to advance healthcare equity (goal: donation of at least US$50.0 million in cash and product).
Henry Schein is the only major dental company that has committed to the Corporate Net-Zero Standard, and it has until the end of this year to set short- and long-term net-zero targets for review by the Science Based Targets initiative. A significant hurdle in doing so is quantifying current emissions at the company and across its supply chain. The company’s targets must account for its Scope 3 emissions—those that the company does not produce but for which it is indirectly responsible—and must aim for substantial carbon dioxide reductions and net-zero emissions by 2050.
In the report, the company detailed its 2022 carbon emissions as:
- Scope 1 from global technician fleet: 43,607 metric tonnes (t);
- Scope 1 from natural gas use: 7,715 t;
- Scope 2 from electricity purchased: 11,763 t;
- Scope 3 from US business travel: 3,659 t; and
- Scope 3 from global transport: 85,257 t.
Global transport-related Scope 3 emissions were dominated by those produced in the US, which totalled approximately 73,853 t. The same emissions associated with Henry Schein’s business in Australia and New Zealand reached just 2,636 t; in Europe, they amounted to 8,743 t. The company noted that its Scope 3 emissions from business-related travel in the US more than doubled from 2021 to 2022, reflecting not only greater data accuracy but also the resumption of pre-pandemic levels of business travel.
Henry Schein listed numerous initiatives that are in place or being piloted in order to reduce emissions, including improving efficiency and mileage of technician visits, consolidating cold storage at distribution centres and exploring the role of energy sourcing.
“Guided by our purpose-driven mission and higher ambition model, we continue to operate as a socially responsible and sustainable organisation dedicated to ‘Delivering Solutions for a Healthier Tomorrow,’” Stanley M. Bergman, chairman of the board and CEO of Henry Schein, commented in a press release. “This year’s report reflects these commitments, and we look forward to continuing to build on this activity in the years to come,” Bergman added.
Henry Schein employs more than 22,000 people and serves around one million customers around the world. Its global business has 29 distribution centres and 19 manufacturing sites in 32 countries, providing it with around 353,000 m2 of space. In 2022, Henry Schein’s dental business accounted for 59% of its total net sales of US$12.6 billion (€11.8 billion).
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