I'm sure you can guess from the title what this post is about. Today we're going to talk about greening the community pharmacy.
In case you aren't really an environmentalist yourself and need some convincing as to how this will benefit you, let's look at why going green makes great business sense:
Reduced expenses: Reducing waste, in any form, ultimately improves your profit margins. Considering the average net margin for independent pharmacies is around 3% according to the last NCPA I saw, we need to take all we can get.
More business: When I was in school for my MBA I took a marketing class and learned about the so-called 'LOHAS' market, or 'Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability.' To sum it up, this group is health conscious and concerned about sustainability and green initiatives. Many individuals in this group have a strong desire to 'vote with their pocket book,' spending at businesses that are truly making a difference beyond shareholder (or business owner) value. They have high expectations for the companies they frequent, but they are also among the highest-income consumers and have some of the highest levels of completed education. In other words, they're your commercial-paying customers that might shop your front-end store too and help pay your bills.
So what can you do to go green and help your pharmacy and the planet?
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Compostable Prescription Vials
I was pretty surprised to find this out, but there are actually companies in the business of manufacturing completely biodegradable prescription vials. Check these two out to get you started:
Not only is this a great thing to do for the environment, but when I spoke with one of these companies over the phone they told me about an independent pharmacy that had started to see an uptick in transfers since switching. Many patients told the pharmacy they decided to transfer their prescriptions because of the biodegradable vial and being concerned about their own waste production.
Take a look at this pharmacy, for example, that is using it to draw in new business. Now that's something the chains aren't going to be able to compete with!