Did you know that it is possible to choose a sustainable pharmacy? Your eco-broker is always looking for more ways to green their practices. Because every action counts, it is essential to help each other. That is why it was important for us to talk to you about the Maillon-Vert.

Le Maillon Vert: what is it?

We discovered the Maillon Vert initiative on the program ” Demain… C’ est maintenant’, broadcast on Radio-Canada. Founded by a pharmacist, this is a unique program adapted to the reality of pharmacies. Almost turnkey, the mission of the Maillon Vert program is to promote the green transition of pharmacies by helping them to become eco-responsible and socially responsible.

Meeting our local green pharmacy

Following this wonderful discovery, we went looking for our local pharmacy, which also decided to go green: Uniprix on rue Saint Denis, corner Laurier.

We had the pleasure of meeting pharmacist Mariane Gagnon and her partner, Emmanuelle Laferrière. During this exchange, we discovered that several of our brokers had been among their clients for some time. We were also able to ask them some questions about their decision to become eco-responsible. We share their answers with you!

Photo of owners of Uniprix St-Denis

Pharmacist Mariane Gagnon and her partner, Emmanuelle Laferrière.

First of all, why the transition to green? What were the triggers that influenced your decision?

The thought process began in 2013, during my MBA training.  At that time, I had a course on corporate social responsibility and it was at that same time that Maillon Vert appeared in our common sphere, to Mariane and I.

In 2015, when we acquired our business, it was clear that we wanted a different pharmacy, rooted in the values of:

  • sustainability;
  • reducing our environmental impact;
  • local sourcing;
  • and social involvement in our neighbourhood.

The first step was to develop the eco-responsible products niche. The next step, starting in 2017, was taken in collaboration with Maillon Vert.

Photo of Example of eco-responsible products available at the pharmacy.

Example of eco-friendly products available at the pharmacy.

Can you tell us about the results you have seen since the beginning of your ecological and social commitment?

The first observation is the positive reaction of customers to this green shift. We received testimonials from customers who made a detour to come and buy certain products from us, who congratulated us on having made this change and encouraged us to continue our commitment.

On the social level, we have encouraged links with local organizations specific to our neighbourhood. For example, with La Maison d’Aurore, a community organization and action centre for seniors to break out of their isolation, or with Le Carrefour des Petits Soleils, a community organization that works with families and gives parents a break.

Photo Example of eco-responsible products available at the pharmacy.

Example of eco-friendly products available at the pharmacy.

What do your employees think about this green shift?

For our employees, this shift was very well received. They have agreed to take training on organic and eco-responsible products as well as the various existing certifications. They contribute to the success of the implementation in the pharmacy and promote this philosophy to our customers.

They are also very involved in waste reduction, and many have changed some of their previous habits. For example:

  • use a reusable bottle for water instead of buying single-use plastic bottles
  • bring their sandwich in a washable dish instead of plastic packaging.

In addition, we are the only business in the Plateau that has received a waiver to implement compost.

Have you noticed any changes in your customer base?

Photo La pharmacienne Mariane Gagnon et sa partenaire, Emmanuelle Laferrière, posent dans leur pharmacie écoresponsable.

Pharmacist Mariane Gagnon and her partner, Emmanuelle Laferrière, pose in their environmentally responsible pharmacy.

As mentioned earlier, customers have been well served by this shift. Just yesterday, a customer told us that we no longer have 100% recycled White Swan tissues.  As a result, our customers follow us and notice when an aspect is missing. ?