Sustainable Investing in Pharmacies: Renewing Makes Green Sense

4 minutes reading time

How durable systems save resources and costs

Protecting the climate and environment is one of the major challenges of our time demanding sustainability, efficiency as well as economic sense. In pharmacies, the durable APOSTORE picking systems are making big contributions to a sustainable future. The systems can be renewed rather than replaced entirely. They are also energy-efficient thanks to the integration of intelligent technology.

Pharmacies can gain a competitive edge through sustainability

Sustainability has become an overriding factor in consumer purchasing behavior. Many customers today are environmentally conscientious: They want to know whether products are made of reusable materials, whether supply chains are socially fair and eco-friendly and how energy-efficient product production and use are.

Against this backdrop, brick-and-mortar pharmacies have many competitive advantages. Customers can reach local pharmacies on foot and the products supplied to the pharmacy cover shorter distances, resulting in fewer emissions compared to the delivery of products ordered online. The experts working in the local pharmacy offer personal advice, helping customers choose and correctly use OTC products and medicine. This lessens the chance of customers making the wrong choice, which in turn reduces harmful waste. The way pharmacies are organized also offers potential for saving resources and energy in a variety of ways.

Some examples:

  • Energy used for air conditioning, heating, lighting, devices and the picking system
  • Using high-quality and durable equipment
  • Using consumable goods and paper; cleaning
  • Choosing green suppliers such as electric companies who generate electricity from renewable sources
  • Green courier services
  • Carbon offset payments

Environmental awareness means active protection of customer health

Sustainable action is responsible action and can become an integral part of the pharmacists’ corporate profile. Responsibility is indivisible: Mindfulness towards the customer and eco-friendly behavior are different sides of the same coin.

What’s more, people’s awareness of how the climate and environmental factors impact their personal health is growing. Sustainability is therefore a fundamental, trust-building opportunity, especially for the healthcare sector.

We were looking for a resource-efficient and sustainable solution for our pharmacy ten years ago, and found it in Apostore.

Schwarzwald pharmacy, Bad Säckingen, Germany

Beatrix Ullrich, Inhaberin Schwarzwaldapotheke vor Ihrem erneuerten Kommissionierautomat A2000
Beatrix Ullrich
pharmacy owner

From old to gold: complete overhaul of the Schwarzwald pharmacy’s automated picking system

Pharmacies can save resources and reduce their ecological footprint in multiple ways by using the appropriate picking systems. They allow environmental protection to be reconciled with high performance and availability. The systems consume less energy and are especially robust, which reduces costs over both the medium and long term.

Beatrix Ullrich, business owner of the Schwarzwald pharmacy in Bad Säckingen, Germany, has first-hand experience: When she was looking for a picking system back in 2010, system durability was top priority.

High-quality materials and intelligent systems mean decades of system operation

Beatrix Ullrich’s decision was a good one. So far, the APOSTORE A2000 has run reliably and with ease for more than ten years – and will do so for many years to come. She has recently taken the opportunity to overhaul the entire picking system. This alternative is significantly more sustainable than disposing of the old system and buying a new one after the typical life cycle in the sector has run out. Many APOSTORE picking systems were installed as early as the beginning of the millennium and are still in sound condition today.

The APOSTORE systems are especially durable thanks to high-quality materials and intelligent technologies that maintain the picking systems’ condition even during intense operation. For example, the integrated 400-volt system technology reduces the wear on the motors.

In addition, pharmacists benefit from long-term guarantees for spare parts: Reliable supply of spare parts for the automated picking system is ensured for at least 15 years.

ApoStore picks a medicine.
KNAPP Smart Solutions Apostore picking system for pharmacies with sustainable glass shelving

Flexibility allows adaptation to suit specific requirements in the best possible way

Thanks to its great flexibility, the A2000 was easily adapted to suit the special requirements of the Schwarzwald pharmacy. A special solution with an integrated refrigerator was needed in a form only offered by APOSTORE. Overhauling the entire proven system rules out the necessity of purchasing a new system that has to be painstakingly refitted to meet the pharmacy’s requirements.

Hint: APOSTORE also offers the “Cube” – a light and flexible picking system – which doesn’t have to be replaced even if the pharmacy relocates. The picking system is simply packed up and moved with the pharmacy.

The system continues to operate as usual during the overhaul

During the overhaul, there was not even one day of interruption to the system, which took place in steps over the course of four nights. This ensured that the Schwarzwald pharmacy could continue to advise and serve customers with no interruptions.

The APOSTORE technicians were highly customer-oriented, taking care of the complete overhaul at night. This way, the picking system could continue to operate without interruption.

Schwarzwald pharmacy, Bad Säckingen, Germany

Beatrix Ullrich, Inhaberin Schwarzwaldapotheke vor Ihrem erneuerten Kommissionierautomat A2000
Beatrix Ullrich
pharmacy owner

The patented greenline technology minimizes energy consumption and costs

Besides durability, efficient energy use is another aspect of APOSTORE sustainability. The A2000 picking system requires 1.2 kW at full capacity. When the system is ready for operation, it uses only 0.3 kW.

The patented greenline technology makes it possible to drop energy consumption even more: Consumption is decreased to 0.1 kW thanks to the integrated energy manager, which switches the electrical components of the system to standby mode.

KNAPP Smart Solutions Apostore picking system for pharmacies, sustainable and resource-efficient – during the overhaul, the cable carrier is exchanged

On average, power consumption can be lowered for six hours a day

For pharmacists, this is beneficial in the long run for two reasons. First, the picking system doesn’t idle during the night or after-hours, which wastes large amounts of energy. Second, even during the day there are phases for which it’s worth switching to standby mode with the greenline.

Example calculations show that the system’s standby potential accounts for up to 60 percent and more of the operating hours each day. For pharmacies open for ten hours, APOSTORE only operates for three hours on average at full capacity. The remaining seven hours include one hour in readiness mode and around six hours in greenline mode. This corresponds to an average power consumption of only 0.45 kW per hour.

Not only is less power consumed, but there is less wear and tear on the electrical components. Sustainability is by no means less efficient: Whenever required, the system can be booted quickly to pick the ordered medicine without delay.

Eco-friendly all-round: the materials can be reused after reaching the end of the life cycle

Act responsibly, build a trusting relationship with the customer, operate efficiently and reduce costs: The APOSTORE picking systems help the local pharmacy to achieve these goals. Even if these systems reach their twilight years after many years of proven durability, they are sustainable supporters for pharmacies to the very end – 98 percent of the materials are recyclable and have a new life ahead of them in different products.

98 % recyclable materials
The Apostore picking systems are almost entirely recyclable.