How To Do You Write Out The Time Ap Style Go Walgreens – An In-Depth Look at the Nations First Green Drugstore

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Go Walgreens – An In-Depth Look at the Nations First Green Drugstore

Why waste a tape when you can plant a tree…

San Diego, CA- Walgreens yesterday celebrated the opening of the nations first green pharmacy not with a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony, but with the planting of a native tree.

“We thought planting a tree was much more appropriate than cutting a ribbon and then throwing it away,” said Jamie J. Meyers, LEED AP project architect who was there for the celebrations.

Walgreens, the largest chain of drug stores in the country, is once again changing the landscape for the American consumer, this time for the greenest. The store in question was designed from the ground up around the dual mission of efficiency and sustainability. Not only is it the first pharmacy in the United States to meet the USGBC’s strict LEED design standards, the 24-hour store also sells a number of environmentally friendly products.

By exceeding LEED requirements and integrating green product lines into their inventory, they have taken steps that cannot simply be attributed to ordinary corporate “greenwashing.”

A serious commitment…

With this project and future plans for many more like it, Walgreens has made a serious commitment to sustainability. Here are just some of the things that have been incorporated into this store in the architectural aspect;

-We can, for example, the landscaping- They used all native plants that will not need any watering once adjusted to the transplant. Here in San Diego it’s a big deal as we’re in the middle of a level 2 drought emergency…

-They made a lot of effort to reduce the waste of light energy by using 75% of the natural sunlight during the day. This was achieved by installing solar tubes and skylights that shine from the ceiling. This combined with LEDs on your signs and coolers reduces lighting-related energy use by 50%

-They are mitigating rainwater pollution from the surrounding buildings by collecting and filtering the water that flows into their lot.

-Water use is estimated at 50% below LEED standard levels.

-75% of the materials were architectural rescues from the previous structure that existed on the site.

-A white roof was included to reduce energy consumption related to cooling, as well as to mitigate the urban heat island effect.

-There are also many other green details, such as hybrid parking spaces, a bicycle rack and a location chosen in part for its proximity to public transport.

While other companies like Wal-Mart and Target have made token gestures toward the green movement, Walgreens seems to really get it. Although there is still room for improvement, the significant steps they have taken to “go green” far exceed the typical dog-and-pony show that passes for environmentalism in many companies today.

At some point the question was seriously asked: “How can we become more efficient and sustainable?” And someone took the time to find some awnsers. Yet here we find the question that all modern companies will face as energy prices soar and the public becomes more aware of their own effect on the planet. Whether it is the product they produce, the service they provide or the goods they sell to businesses, large and small, they cannot escape the changes that are taking place in our environment. Those who do not respond to these changes will end up as Walgreens competitors such as Eckerd; just struggling to keep up with the pack.

A story of constant progress

“Walgreens is making great strides in our chain-wide environmental initiatives. We were cutting our electricity and water consumption, recycling tons of cardboard and shrink wrap each year, and upgrading equipment for maximum efficiency,” said VP Walgreens Market, Matt Sesto.

Walgreens has never been a trendy/flashy company. Quite the contrary, they are an American family business with a long history of steady progress. In many cases they were among the first to implement innovative strategies such as the shift to barcode scanning technology and the expansion in film development in the 1970s. They were also at the forefront of adapting a more convenient and customer-friendly format at a time when that pharmacies had a rather limited scope. Through all these changes, however, they have always stayed true to their identity as “Americas corner drugstore.”

So when a company like Walgreens outlines a broad environmentally friendly strategy, it really means something in terms of its future intentions. As mentioned by Jim Collins (Author of ‘Built to Last’ and ‘Good to Great’) in an article entitled Best Beats First;

“They (Walgreens) may be slow, following a crawl, walk, run, trajectory, but when they run, they run over the companies that think being first is all that matters.”

So when Walgreens tells me they plan to build many more new green locations as well as make additional environmentally friendly modifications to their existing 6,857 locations, I believe them. This store alone is saving enough energy to power over 19 homes a year. Imagine what the combined effect will be.

Bringing organic products “to every corner drug store in America”

Walgreens’ unique position as a national leader in their industry gives them the opportunity to offer and support eco-friendly products in their extensive 24-hour store network. It also puts them in a position to persuade their competitors to do the same. That says nothing about the opportunities available to them in terms of offering holistic, green and organic health products. Again, in the interest of fairness, this is an area where strides have been made…but there is still room for improvement. While certain green products were highlighted and given prominent positioning on display, much of their inventory is the same old landfill clogging… “stuff” that plagues America today.

This brings to mind the reason I decided to write this article. Walgreens, like many other long-established companies today is in an awkward position. While they are struggling to wrap their strategy around the idea of ​​sustainability, they are still plagued by a long legacy of conventional, polluting and unsustainable business practices. Unfortunately, that’s something no company can change overnight. This problem can only be solved by consistent long-term efforts. No broad initiative or “change program” is going to make a significant difference to behaviors that have developed over many generations.

However, the good news is that with pressure from retail giants like Walgreens, major manufacturers (like current Walgreens suppliers themselves) will naturally “follow their script” and start offering more green product alternatives. Here are some of the product lines currently available at their Mira Mesa (SD) location;

Healthy Times- Organic Baby Food- Definitely an organic product that’s worth it, especially if you’re sick of paying for water and starch. Organic baby food should be in every grocery/drug store in America. I would recommend this product to any parent trying to get their baby off to a green and healthy start. They have many options, all organic, all formulated to nourish children’s skin, hair, growth and overall well-being. This baby food contains no refined sugars, preservatives or artificial additives.

Biofusion: This is Walgreens’ own brand of hair care products that incorporates natural ingredients into the formulas. No word yet on the sustainability or social responsibility of the manufacturing process, but the formulas rely less on chemicals with too many syllables to pronounce.

Burt’s Bees: Here’s a great example of a mom-and-pop cottage industry manufacturer that has become a national success…and is now using that success to leverage environmental progress. Not only are their personal care products naturally based (beeswax), their entire business philosophy is focused on supporting “the greater good” of their charitable contributions to foster personal growth opportunities for their employees.

Clorox Greenworks: This is Clorox’s brand of green cleaning products that uses, in their words, “environmentally preferable chemistry” to achieve cleaning results similar to Clorox’s toxic/harmful flagship products. Clorox also contributes to the Sierra Club on behalf of this product line. (Get coupons here)

Natures Source: SC Johnson’s green plant-based cleaning products are eco-friendly and versatile in selection. Check out their website to learn more about these products and what SC Johnson is doing to help the environment.

WaterU- It is another product made by Walgreens. A reusable BPA-free water jug ​​that comes in a variety of different sizes. It is reusable and recyclable and does not contain the harmful traces of BPA found in typical bottled water containers.

Therefore, although eco-friendly products have been made available in this location, there is a clear emphasis on the architectural end of sustainability. I can imagine it’s hard to walk away from longtime dealer relationships, but there’s really no good reason why Walgreens can’t offer more environmentally friendly product alternatives for some of its best-selling items.

The Green Drugstore is a healthy pharmacy

An often overlooked (though very important) part of going green are the healthy choices we can all make

day like eating well, exercising and choosing the right over-the-counter health products. Consider that the medical industry is a major dump and polluter of toxic waste. Just look around the next time you’re in a hospital and it’s not hard to see why. If Walgreens can take their commitment to the next level by promoting natural and environmentally friendly health products in their stores, then it would be a pretty amazing achievement by any environmental standards.

Going green has as much to do with the lifestyle you live as with the house you live it in. By extension, it’s as much about the products you sell as the building you sell them in. Sometimes that is forgotten in the world of business and industry. I hope that Walgreens will be able to use the same wise judgment in this area that they are currently practicing in the design and energy policy of their new buildings. For pictures of the grand opening, check out my Go Walgreens article in its entirety!

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