The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has said it will support the pharmacy profession to help reduce the environmental impact of medicines and inform local communities about the importance of sustainability.
Announcing its climate pledge today, the RPS described climate change as the “most significant health threat that modern society has ever faced”.
The RPS warned that if ecological breakdown is not reversed, it will lead to drastic outcomes including higher rates of cardiovascular and respiratory disease, malnutrition and increased risk from extreme weather events.
“Pharmacists and the pharmacy team have a clear role to play in combating climate change,” said the Society, adding that the medicine supply chain accounts for 25 per cent of the NHS’s carbon emissions.
“As individual practitioners, and collectively as a profession, we have an opportunity to offer clear leadership in this area.”
The RPS has made a number of commitments, including helping to shape policy on how pharmacy can contribute to decarbonisation and running itself and its buildings in a sustainable way.
It has also pledged to support its members to mitigate the impact of medicines and their waste on the environment, promote best practice around sustainability and using “their trusted position to help inform our communities about sustainability”.
RPS president Claire Anderson said: “The climate crisis will not just have an impact on the pharmacy profession, but your family, friends, and everyday life.
“The RPS declaration is leading the way for pharmacy and demonstrates our commitment to change.
“It’s more important than ever that we turn words into action and become more sustainable and this applies to everyone. As individual practitioners and collectively as a profession, we must identify where we can make changes in our practice to reduce carbon emissions.
“Join us by acting now, and change the direction we are going in.”