March 29th, 2016

From your junk drawer to Zero Waste, our Green Deal sustainability story has it all!

London Drugs Green Deal Sustainability Overview Earth Month 2016

Once upon a time…

There was a lonely flip phone. One of millions of discarded recyclables looking for a better place to call home. Fortunately, London Drugs was launching a program to make recycling as easy as a trip to the store.  The year was 2008 Here’s our story.

The London Drugs philosophy is to support the communities we serve. Years before 2008, our stores had offered recycling, our photo labs treated their water and our operations reduced their impacts. But it was time to take our sustainability journey further.
What’sthe Green Deal? began as a question, because we always want to seek better sustainability answers.

Our 4 Pillar Strategy:

1. WASTE REDUCTION – Over 93% Of all store waste is diverted from landfill by our employees.

2. ENERGY & OPERATIONS – Better warehouse design & lighting, biodiesel in our trucks and more.

3. UPSTREAM BUYING – Our  Responsible Purchasing Policy helps show vendors exactly what we expect when it comes to their supply chain standards.

4. EDUCATION & COMMUNICATION – Our outreach events, sponsorships, Twitter feed @WTGreenDeal and our website & blog help share greener living tips with the whole community.

What can customers recycle at London Drugs?

  • Electronics
  • Small Appliances
  • Packaging from our products including Styrofoam
  • Plastic Bags
  • Insurance Plastic Folders
  • Alkaline Batteries
  • Cell Phones
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Compact Fluorescent Bulbs & Fluorescent Light Tubes (up to 48”)
  • Disposable Cameras
  • Ink jet Cartridges
  • Laser Cartridges
  • Metal Film Canisters

WHERE does our recycling go?

  • Global Electric Electronic 
Processing (GEEP)
  • e-Cycle
  • Cascades Recovery
  • Call2Recycle
  • Light Recycle
  • Various Recycling Partners

Responsible Recycling

Our recycling partners are certified and reviewed to ensure no unprocessed material is sent to substandard offshore facilities
London Drugs will take back all of your packaging from our products. 
Including the Styrofoam!

Don’t dump drugs!
 Our pharmacists take back all unused or expired medications, so they don’t pollute lands and waters.

Thanks to our customers and employees, our average yearly recycling totals over 11 MILLION lbs !

For those who like to shop a little greener… We identify Green Deal products with environmental benefits at the shelf and online.

The Zero Waste QUESTION – Can we create NEW products from  the ‘waste’  material streams that come from our recycling?

We already have one closed-loop product on our shelves. Cascades recycled paper products are made from cardboard and paper partially sourced from our waste recycling streams. And we’re still looking for even more ways to get to Zero Waste.

LEARN MORE Visit our website for blogs, videos articles, and products that help you live a little greener.

The story continues…

September 20th, 2015

What is ORGANIC anyway?

To celebrate Canada Organic Week (Sept 19 – 26) we have put together a list of  organic questions and answers, in a fun infographic. Scroll down for all the live links and a text version of all the info if that’s your thing.

Organic Questions and Answers Infographic for Canada Organic Week


Canada Organic Week

Wikipedia Organic Certification

Canada Organic

Organic Production Systems Standards

Environmental Medicine Organic Vs Conventional Foods Study

Little evidence of health benefits from organic foods study

(Text Version)

These days people buy, eat and wear more organic than ever before. But with all the certifications, labels and details, even the greenest shopper may not know exactly what it all means. So the London Drugs Green Deal Team delved into the world of organic certification to answer a few basic questions.

What makes a product ‘Certified Organic’?

Requirements vary from country to country, and generally involve a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging and shipping. Synthetic pesticides and genetically modified seeds are not permitted, On-farm and facility inspections are conducted to verify that organic producers are operating within standards. 

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency oversees the Canada Organic label. In the US, it’s the Department of Agriculture (USDA Organic)

Canadian Organic Standards also include principles like protecting the environment, minimizing soil degradation and decreasing pollution. 

Other countries with organic certifications include Australia, the European Union, France, Germany and Japan

What about ‘Organic Ingredients’?

Multi-ingredient products with 70-95 per cent organic content may have the declaration “contains x% organic ingredients,” but may not use the Canada Organic logo and/or the claim “organic”. Multi-ingredient products with less than 70 per cent organic content may only use organic claims in the product’s ingredient list. These products may not use the Canada 
Organic logo.

Only products with 95% organic content or more may be labelled as “organic” or bear the Canada Organic logo.

What’s the difference between Organic and Natural?

Natural means that:

• The food or ingredient must not contain an added vitamin, mineral nutrient, food additive or artificial flavouring agent.

• Must not have had any constituent removed or significantly changed (except removal of water).

• Must not have been submitted to processes that have significantly altered its original physical, chemical or biological state. (Source: CFIA)

Why is organic more expensive?

It isn’t always. But organic farming is more labor and management intensive. Organic-certified operations must have a plan and keep records that verify their compliance. Organic farms are also usually smaller than conventional farms and may not benefit from the economies of scale that larger growers get.

Canada’s Organic Standards cover everything from seeds to weeds to transportation.

Is Organic food better for you?

The jury is still out. Some studies show that organics provide greater levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus than non-organic varieties, while being significantly lower in nitrates and pesticide residues. Other studies have found there isn’t much nutritional difference between organic and conventional foods.

When you consider the effects of conventional pesticides in soils and waterways, more organic production is probably a good thing for everyone’s health.


Going organic is a personal choice, but it’s not a decision you should have to make on cost alone. That’s why London Drugs is committed to offering you some of the best organic options out there, at great prices. 
That’s the REAL Green Deal! Happy Organic Week!

August 8th, 2014

What is B Corporation Certification?

B Corp Certification

If you scan the shelves for Certified Organic, Fair Trade, Kosher, Cruelty-Free or other certifications, you’ll soon start seeing a new label on the block.
Certified B Corporation is an up-and-coming standard that goes beyond the qualities of the product you hold in your hand and sets a standard for the behaviour of the company itself.
B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
To qualify, companies must complete the rigorous B Impact Assessment and earn a reviewed minimum score of 80 out of 200 points. This assessment measures everything from environmental practices and waste to labour standards and community practices. This assessment is reviewed, documentation may be required, and re-certification is required every 2 years.
There are now over 1000 B Corps in 30+ countries around the world, and the movement is growing.
Some of the great Green Deal products made by B Corps that you’ll find on London Drugs’ shelves include Method, Badger, Seventh Generation, Lunapads, Salt Spring Coffee, Ethical Bean Coffee, Manitoba Harvest, Preserve and Traditional Medicinals.
B Corporation Certification has been called “The highest standard for socially responsible business”, but their ‘Declaration of Interdependence’ says it best:
“We envision an new sector of the economy which harnesses the power of private enterprise to create public benefit…” You can read the rest on the B Corp website.
So if you want to buy from a company that’s working to make a difference, look for the B.  It’s one corporate certification that gets an ‘A’ from the Green Deal team.


May 28th, 2013

More FSC Certifications for our office papers means you can print with forests in mind.


A recent press release from HP makes it official that their HP office papers are now FSC certified. Our Hammermill brands and Domtar EarthChoice papers also bear the FSC logo, meaning that you can now feel confident that office paper you buy at London Drugs has come from well-managed forests.

The Forest Stewardship Council has a reputation as one of the most rigorous and credible independent certification standards available. Fibre from certified forests is tracked all the way to the consumer through the FSC Chain of Custody system.

FSC Certification also applies to wood and other paper products. Find out a bit more about FSC Certification in our London Drugs photo envelopes, Garant shovels and Hilroy Biodegradable Bubble Envelopes.

Post-consumer recycled paper content helps save even more trees, and the greenest office paper of all is the one you don’t print. So choose both your papers and the projects you decide to print with care.

November 2nd, 2011

The GreenDeal Team: Meet Cedric Tetzel – Merchandise Manager on a Mission

Do you like your electronics made with less toxins like lead, mercury and cadmium? So does Cedric. As the man in charge of London Drugs’ computer buying, he brings his own practical green sensibility to work every day. That’s why Cedric demands that all London Drugs Certified Data products and Tree Frog brand accessories meet the European RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances) standard, even though it’s not required by law in North America.

“Electronics manufacturing in Asia is split,” he explains. “You have products made to the European RoHS standard, and the products made to North American, or US standards. When we first started asking for the European standard, we were repeatedly told we didn’t have to, that we could go for the lower standard. But we kept insisting, and now our suppliers know that’s what we expect.”

Cedric has been with London Drugs for more than 16 years, so he knows his business. And even though sustainable thinking is now becoming mainstream, he sees ‘green’ more as an expression of product value.
“You can always buy cheaper, but when you pay a few pennies more up front, you get better materials and better quality. Whether that’s wires that use longer-life copper instead of aluminum, or a better-engineered laptop that will last you 5 years instead of three.”

And Cedric believes green shouldn’t have to cost more. “It’s only more expensive when people aren’t buying enough of it,” he says. “Make a big enough production run and green can be just as affordable.”

Cedric is also working with the rest of the London Drugs merchandise team on some new standards for other aspects of sustainable purchasing. “We are in the process of developing a sustainability survey for our vendors, asking them about things like labour and environmental practices,” he says. “When you make it known that’s what you are looking for, vendors respond. They are businesspeople after all. Our company recognizes and places a priority on sustainability and we want to reward suppliers who contribute to healthy, fair and safe workplaces and practice environmental stewardship.”

Even though Cedric Tetzel deals in the world economy, he also brings his green behavior right down to the grassroots level.

“It’s basically what my Grandma used to do. Chasing kids around, telling them to switch lights off. I even take all the junk faxes I get and clip them together for notepads. Am I cheap? Maybe. But why waste what you don’t use?”

We couldn’t agree more, Cedric. That’s why you are the Real Green Deal!

October 14th, 2011

Carry your laptop in a pop bottle. Targus Spruce EcoSmart cases recycle with style.

I love seeing smart uses of recycled material, and the Targus line of stylish EcoSmart computer cases is a great example. Recycled polyester (made from drink bottles) is one of the success stories of recycling, taking a waste item and upcycling it into a very useable, durable and marketable fabric. Targus has taken this material and engineered a line of cases specifically designed to fit 15.6 – 17-inch laptops, available at your local London Drugs.

Targus Spruce cases also feature metal hardware that is nickel-free (good news for those sensitive to this metal) and plastic components that are recyclable. The cases are also PVC-free, which spares you from that ‘new-vinyl’ smell, and more importantly, helps reduce toxins linked with the manufacture of this polymer.
Targus has brought their considerable case-engineering experience to work on functionality as well, with all the zippered compartments, key clips and accessory space you would expect. Spiffy green interior fabric also makes it easier to dig out your black pen in a dim boardroom.

Beyond these cases though, the Targus EcoSmart Program outlines green changes throughout their company, from a commitment to using renewable office supplies, to developing degradable materials for their other lines of products. From my perspective, this is a respectable start, but lacking a little on measurement and supply-chain detail. Also, their ‘EcoSmart’ button looks a little like it’s trying to imitate a true certification label. (See Making Sense of Green Certifications) Let’s hope Targus continues down the path of sustainability with more great products, initiatives and transparency.

Overall, if you need a case, the Targus Spruce line is a good greener choice. You could be protecting more than just your computer.

July 27th, 2010

What’s the Green Deal with Fair Trade Coffee?

The Fair Trade symbol is one we see on more and more products these days. But what does it really mean? I visited Ethical Bean Coffee to find out, and was treated to a ‘cupping’ – the serious coffee tasting process used to judge and grade java on the market. I also found out this is one company that really lives up to its name, so join me for a quick look behind the grind. Then get down to your local London Drugs and grab some of these ethical beans for yourself. (P.S. If you have an iPhone, there’s a special surprise waiting on their new packages as well!)

June 30th, 2010

Green Deal 101: What makes a Green Deal product ‘green’?

Since we started the program in 2008, the list of What’s the Green Deal products has steadily grown as shoppers demand more sustainable options and manufacturers find more ways to make them. So how does a product qualify for a Green Deal sign in your local London Drugs?

When a product is considered, the Green Deal team looks for the following benefits:

  • Organic Production
  • Reduced Packaging
  • Reduced Energy Use
  • Recyclable Packaging or content
  • Products that are degradable or compostable
  • Recycled content in products or packaging
  • Reduced synthetic chemicals / toxins
  • Local production
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Logical environmental advantages (such as rechargeable batteries)
  • Third-party certification
  • Self-declared environmental claims
  • Corporate responsibility

The best recommendation a product can have is third-party certification, such as BC Certified Organic, Transfair or Energy Star. Self-declared claims are also accepted if the product’s package and/or website offer reasonable transparency and support for the claim. We may contact manufacturers directly with specific questions in these cases. We also look at the product relative to others in its category. (If all the products on a shelf have recycled packaging, for instance, it would take more than that alone to qualify for Green Deal status)

Corporate behaviour plays a role, too. Does the manufacturer contribute to environmental or social causes? Are they measuring and working towards reducing their carbon footprint?

Ultimately, ‘green’ is in the eye of the beholder – there is no such thing as a ‘zero-footprint’ product. That’s why What’s the Green Deal is an information program, pointing out product benefits that also have benefits for the environment and leaving the ultimate green shopping decision to you.

We continue to refine and define our What’s the Green Deal process, so if you have feedback on our program or products, we’d love to hear from you. Send us a message on Twitter @WTGreenDeal or leave a comment on this blog.

Because the real Green Deal is what you do with it.

April 14th, 2010

Intuit works to reduce their eco footprint, as well as your tax payments.

It just goes to show, you don’t have to be a green business (or product) to make a diffference. Intuit Canada, makers of popular Quicktax personal tax software, have been using FSC certified paper on approximately 90% of their packaging, direct mail, POP, marketing and internal correspondence. And now they are going beyond the retail packaging. All the posters, display and promotional material London Drugs gets form Intuit are also now printed on FSC certified stock using vegetable-based inks. (FSC is a certification that ensures paper comes from recycled material and/or well-managed forests)
And because taxes change yearly, Intuit is left with unusable leftover CD’s after each tax season. These are now being recycled through a company called Duplium. The CD’s are shredded and smelted to separate the aluminum and printing inks from the plastic resin. This resin is then used in the manufacture of automobile parts, office equipment, and other plastics.
These are small changes in the big supply chain picture, but at What’s the Green Deal, we appreciate hearing about the sustainability stories that go on behind the scenes. When companies make efforts to do things better it’s worth recognizing.

March 3rd, 2010

London Drugs PhotoLab envelopes focus on FSC certification.

When it comes to sustainability, even the small decisions count. London Drugs uses a fair number of paper envelopes to deliver photo prints to customers. A closer look at the back of these envelopes reveals there’s more inside than precious memories.
First, the paper is made in Canada. That means less carbon footprint from shipping, and support for Canadian suppliers.
Second, the paper stock is FSC Certified. The FSC ‘check-tree’ logo can only be used on paper and wood products that come from responsibly managed forests, and verified recycled sources. Under FSC certification, forests are certified against a set of strict environmental and social standards, and fibre from certified forests is tracked all the way to the consumer through the chain of custody certification system. The on-the-ground impact of FSC certification is that:

  • Waterways are protected
  • Wildlife habitat and species are protected
  • High conservation value forests are preserved
  • Forest management practices are monitored annually
  • Genetically modified trees are not used
  • Pesticide use is reduced
  • Local people are involved in forest management
  • The rights of Indigenous Peoples are respected

Look for the FSC logo on brochures, paper and wood products you buy. It’s one more thing you can do to help protect forest ecosystems and reward the suppliers who are doing it right.

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