Going green: Hospital pharmacists tackling the climate emergency

From the ‘four Rs’ to a fortnight-long challenge, SHPA members have left no stone unturned examining workplaces and practices to generate a wave of ideas for how hospital pharmacists can leave a positive impact on the environment.

The latest edition of Pharmacy Growth, Research, Innovation and Training (Pharmacy GRIT), which hits mailboxes this week, explores the many angles of sustainability, from minimising waste to maximising the resilience of individuals, all while maintaining optimal patient care.

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says sustainable practices are becoming increasingly embedded in the day-to-day of Australian hospital pharmacy.

‘Starting with the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle and RUM (returning unused medicines) we see many examples of hospital pharmacists and technicians holding an environmental lens to their everyday work, with the long-term health of their patients and the world in which we all live, both in mind.

‘At the same time, our members understand health care is fast-paced, complex and frequently under resource pressure, so it is fantastic to read practical, tangible examples of enabling change – such as through Melissa Batger’s 14-Day Sustainability Challenge – and taking colleagues with you on the sustainability journey.

In the Autumn 2019 issue, Dr Judith Singleton outlines why the pharmacy profession must take responsibility for its environmental impact, Iouri Bankh extends this discussion to how the practice of today will affect the environment of the future and Karlee Johnston turns the attention to the self and the importance of respecting the sustainability of practitioners themselves.

Ms Michaels says it’s not only individual pharmacists who are passionate about making positive change, as SHPA continues to identify ways to reduce its carbon footprint.

‘On behalf of members we are “walking the walk” in the Autumn issue of Pharmacy GRIT, which will be the first sent out to student members electronically, reflecting evolving reading habits and preferences.

‘From this issue, Pharmacy GRIT will only be printed on FSC-approved paper and delivered in biodegradable plastic slips that break down into organic matter.’

The Autumn 2019 issue of Pharmacy GRIT is available free – as always – to SHPA members.

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