Sustainability in Pharmacies
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental issues we are facing and the impact their purchases have. Research has shown that consumers are more likely to buy the environmentally friendly option, with 1 third of consumers preferring sustainable brands. This research shows that being environmentally sustainable is no longer an option, but a necessity to remain favourable in the eyes of the consumer. So how do you create a more sustainable pharmacy whilst adhering to safety and regulatory procedures?
Not only is it good for the environment to conserve energy, it also makes financial sense. There are many different ways you can reduce your energy usage and lower your environmental impact. If you are the owner of the building, having solar panels installed is a great way to start. Try to use natural lighting where possible, and switch to LED bulbs. By turning off all equipment at the powerpoint overnight, you will start to see noticeable changes in your energy bills. You should aim to be as efficient with your cooling and heating as possible, there is smart technology available that automatically monitors and adjusts the temperature accordingly. Before purchasing new equipment check the energy ratings, opt for equipment with the best possible energy rating within your budget.
We are currently facing a war on waste, and we need to be more conscious of the waste we produce. One simple way to reduce waste, is by introducing a recycling system and encouraging staff to use it. To start reducing on a bigger scale, review the way your organisation operates, and find where you create the most waste. Monitoring paper waste is another simple area to reduce, by emailing instead of printing.
Implementing clean energy, water and resource policies for employees. When ordering stock there are a few ways to reduce waste, by ordering only what is required, and ordering larger medicine bottles rather than lots of smaller bottles. If possible, find a recycling centre that accepts medical recycling waste and use this service. By educating your customers on how to properly dispose of their medication, you are also able to reduce waste into the community.
Source Sustainable Products
By researching where your products come from and how they are made you are able to make educated decisions, and stock more environmentally friendly options in your pharmacy. Try to find products with eco friendly packaging available. You can also ask your staff for any of their favourite eco friendly products, which they will be more likely to sell if they know and trust. As well as researching sustainable products, try to stock eco friendly alternatives to most products.
Many cleaning cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that aren’t good for the environment, which means they surely aren’t good for us to be around. Luckily, there are plenty of start-ups coming through creating environmentally friendly cleaning products.
Be a Leader/ Advocate
Pharmacies play a pivotal role in communities, this offers an excellent opportunity for you to be a leader in the community and advocate for greener practises. As you lead, others will begin to follow, bringing the community together.