A Sydney pharmacy has achieved Runner Up in the local Better Business Awards for its “green” initiatives

Nick Logan Pharmacist Advice in Artarmon, NSW, has placed Runner Up in the Retail and Specialty Shops category for the Better Business Awards 2017.

The Better Business Awards 2017 showcase and recognise the achievements of 700+ businesses who are working towards sustainability.

“It’s been a long-term thing, we got introduced to the Better Business Partnership at least a decade ago,” explains proprietor Nick Logan.

Front of Store Manager Bow Shearman poses with the well-earned certificate.

“Since then they’ve been really proactive in supporting the community and especially our business of all businesses in considering sustainability and footprints. Right from the word go it was presented as a way to do your part with sustainability and the community in a cost-effective way – so it’s really a no-brainer for us.”

As part of a partnership with Better Business, Mr Logan and his team have changed lights; how they organise deliveries; suppliers have changed their culture in reducing wastefulness; and they practise recycling.

“The work for the pharmacy was the logistics and the planning, and Better Business helped us with that: this is how much it will cost; where you’re at; what your savings are; why it’s a good idea.

“For example, changing the lighting saved us 40% of the power bill; it saved us money and paid for itself within two years.”

Placing as finalists and achieving Runner Up is “a really big thing because we’re not a sustainability business as such,” says Mr Logan.

“In our category with us was a uniform recycling business whose whole ethos is sustainability. So for us being a retail pharmacy, it’s a really big honour.

“Better Business always liked our community engagement, they respect that we have really strong relationships with our local school, for example, and the community centre at Royal North Shore Hospital.

“They have always held us in high regard for that community network that provides better health outcomes,” says Mr Logan.

“For me there’s so much room for improvement. Pharmacies have been putting their invoices in gigantic piles in their storage room and shredding them. Like everyone’s thinking, if this was digital it would be more secure and there would be much less wastage of paper. Embracing digital health is the future and it’s only going to get better.”

Main achievements

Waste saver:

  • Lobbied suppliers to change from Styrofoam boxes to having chilled section in delivery van
  • All cardboard sent to recycling centre
  • Printer toner cartridges recycled
  • Partners with community sharps disposal program

Energy saver:

  • Installed Q-Nap to allow for offsite data retention which allows for more IT to be shut down
  • Lighting upgrade from Halogens and T8s to LEDs
  • Turned off hot water system
  • Timers on external lighting

Sustainable purchasing:

  • Bulk purchasing from Pfizer
  • FSC-approved paper

Community support:

  • Installing a counselling room in the pharmacy
  • Early diagnosis health screenings provided
  • Local delivery boys on bikes
  • Very active member of local business community
  • Very active lobbyist for upgrade of train station to include lift for disabled and elderly
  • Promotion and education about bacterial resistance from overuse of antibiotics

Staff support:

  • Provides training and development opportunities
  • Nominated sustainability officer
  • Tries to employ local staff for flexibility with exams and childcare