B.C. grocer, Loblaw celebrated at Commitment to Care awards

Askews wins green award, while Loblaw wins for team award for blood pressure initiative
11/26/2013

B.C.'s Askew Foods has won a Commitment to Care Award for Green Leadership for its eco-focused sustainable store.

The award was handed out on Monday at the annual awards dinner in Toronto put on by Pharmacy Practice and Drugstore Canada.

The grocer's fourth B.C. location that opened last year sits on a sloped lot that helps naturally insulate the facilities, and features a light deflector on the windows to reduce excess heat gain.

As well, the 30,000 square-foot roof, made of locally sourced wood, is designed to collect rain water into a holding pond where it can be reused for landscaping.

Refrigeration curtains cover the coolers and freezers when the store is closed to minimize cooling needs, while sensors on the windows open as needed to allow fresh air to circulate into the building.

All washrooms in the store have low- or dual-flow toilets, walls are painted using low-emission materials and even the pharmacy’s supplier uses totes instead of cardboard to transport products to minimize waste.

Inside the pharmacy, recycling has become second nature. “I encourage the reuse of pretty much all displayers, shippers and promo materials we receive,” said pharmacy manager Darlene Ogilvie. “We will even re-use the backside of misprinted paper pages before sending them off to the recycling bin and I also sourced a shredding company that recycles all the confidential information.”

Also feted at the awards ceremony was the Loblaw pharmacy team that earned this year’s award for Collaborative Team Initiative (photo above of Loblaw's team).

In partnership with Hypertension Canada, the Loblaw pharmacy's  “Understand your Blood Pressure” was as a one-month pilot program that has since become a standard service at all of its pharmacies.

The program sees pharmacy technicians encouraging customers to do two blood pressure checks using the in-store blood pressure machines. The readings are then evaluated by the pharmacist, who provides a consultation and recommendation based on the results. The in-store dietician educates patients on how to read labels and opt for healthy, low-sodium choices when grocery shopping.

There were more than 21,000 Canadians that received blood pressure consultations at Loblaw pharmacies in the first month of the program. Pharmacists said it was one of the “most impactful” programs they had done because of the interventions they were able to initiate.

The Commitment to Care & Service Awards are the only national awards program recognizing and celebrating the many facets of pharmacy, from patient care to business acumen to interprofessional collaboration

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