An innovative process with added ecological benefits

The purpose of ecodesign is to minimize the environmental impact of a product, from cradle to grave. This approach adheres to the principles of sustainable development, and adds environmental criteria to traditional manufacturing requirements (ergonomics, safety, performance, aesthetics and cost).

The aim is to reduce resource and energy consumption, and cut pollutant emissions and waste, while creating products that enhance productivity and customer satisfaction. Our expertise in ecodesign is precisely what enables us to create prescription drug packaging with the smallest environmental footprint on the market.

A 5-Step Process



80% of a product’s environmental impact is directly linked to its design. This step is therefore of the utmost importance, both in the choice of material and in the actual design of the product.

For instance, the EcoloVial, whose vial and cap are moulded in a single piece, requires 35% less raw material than a push-turn model or an arrow vial. Its multifunctional design saves pharmacy specialists considerable time and space.

In short, a smart product design benefits both the environment and users.


Responsible sourcing

As a manufacturer, we have the advantage of being able to control our entire value chain.

From an operational point of view, the result is optimal stability and quality of operation. In terms of corporate social responsibility, choosing partners who share our values enables us to enhance our positive-impact actions and achieve our sustainable development objectives more rapidly. It was with this in mind that we created our responsible sourcing policy, which led us to select a high-performance, energy-efficient raw material to match our product design.

Choosing local suppliers also gives us greater control over upstream logistics, i.e., minimizing waste associated with packaging and transport.


Optimized design

Our products’ unique design, combined with the integration of technologies such as robotization and automation, offer numerous advantages.

Compared to a conventional manufacturing process, our production line:

  • uses three times less energy-intensive equipment
  • consumes less energy and water
  • releases fewer greenhouse gases (GHGs)
  • generates very little waste
  • eliminates waste and excess handling

Minimalist packaging

Minimalist packaging drastically reduces the quantities of cardboard and plastic required. Upstream logistics, an approach advocated in ecodesign, minimizes the impact of packaging at all levels: primary (the product), secondary (the boxes) and tertiary (the pallets).

The result is, quite literally, tons of savings in precious environmental resources.


Cradle to grave management

In ecodesign, a product’s cradle to grave management is taken into account right from the initial design phase.

Three principles are prioritized here:

  • reusability (extending product life)
  • recyclability (creating single-material products whose raw materials are highly recyclable)
  • circularity (ensuring that the waste generated by our operations is used by other partners, or reintroduced into our manufacturing process)

A process with numerous benefits

Ecodesign goes far beyond creating partially or fully recyclable products.

It’s a responsible approach that aims to:

  • Reduce a product’s environmental footprint
  • Consider all stages of the product’s life cycle from the outset
  • Ensure maximum user benefits

This preventive and continuous approach has numerous environmental benefits, as well as operational, technological and social benefits.

Our impact

2023 2010
Less energy
4,8 M KWH
Enough to heat 480 homes for a year
Less plastic
1787 tons
The equivalent of 13 blue whales
Less cardboard
206 tons
3526 trees
Less plastic bags
2 million
Fewer GHGs
5645 tons
The equivalent of 9 Montréal-Vancouver round-trip flights


What are the advantages of ecodesign?

The linear manufacturing model that consists of extracting, manufacturing, using and disposing of a product is more than outdated.

Because ecodesign helps curb the waste of resources, it is becoming an essential approach, especially given the rate at which we are over-consuming the planet’s resources.

Did you know…

  • Canada is one of the countries that most rapidly consumes its resources.
  • Earth Overshoot Day* corresponds to the moment in the year when humanity has consumed all the renewable resources that the planet is capable of producing annually.
  • In 1971, that date was set at December 25. In 2023, it was reached on March 13!

* Calculated by dividing the planet’s biocapacity (the quantity of ecological resources generated by the planet in that year) by humanity’s ecological footprint (the demand for resources in that year). The result is multiplied by 365.

Does an ecodesigned product cost more than a conventionally designed one?

Not necessarily. It’s true that ecodesign requires a great deal of creativity. For this reason, investment in research and development is of the utmost importance.

However, a well-managed ecodesign process generates savings (in water, energy, packaging and raw materials), which, in many cases, make it possible to offer a purchase price equal to or similar to that of a conventional product (which, it should be remembered, has a greater environmental impact).

In some instances, ecodesigned products are of higher quality and more durable than their disposable counterparts. When this is the case, it is not always possible to achieve equivalency in price.

Ecodesign goes far beyond the purchase of a product: by choosing ecodesigned products, you are supporting a mission of social responsibility and committing to a mission aimed at collective well-being.

Specifically, how does an ecodesigned product benefit the environment?

Ecodesigned products are the superheroes of sustainability. They reduce environmental impact at every stage of their life cycle.

Take EcoloPharm products, for example:

  • They contain less raw material.
  • Some, like the blister pack and the ointment jar, contain recycled raw materials. 
  • Their production requires less water and energy
  • Their manufacture generates very little waste, which we take care to recycle.
  • They are designed to be easily recyclable at the end of their life cycle (they are manufactured in a single piece, suitably identified, mono-material and of sufficient size).
  • Shipping is optimized and packaging minimized (less cardboard, less plastic and no plastic bags).

For all these reasons, our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are significantly lower than those of a conventional manufacturing process.To find out more about our environmental impact, click here.

What are the key steps in an ecodesign approach?

The key steps in an ecodesign process are as follows:

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
We measure the environmental impact of every product, from cradle to grave.

Setting goals
We set goals to ensure continuous improvement.

We design our products with a great sense of creativity and innovation, paying particular attention to:

  • Choosing materials that are sustainable, local, non-toxic, technically efficient and easily recyclable
  • Planning a comprehensive, optimized and energy-efficient manufacturing process
  • Generating as little waste as possible, and recycling such waste.

We are transparent in communicating the impact of our products, as well as our objectives and action plans for continuous improvement.

Conventional medication packaging is recyclable. What’s the problem?

In Canada (over)consumption generates 4 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. Yet only 8% of this waste is recycled! The rest ends up in landfills, incineration or in our oceans.

That’s why it’s important to reduce the amount of resources we consume, and that’s precisely what the ecodesign approach makes possible.

By consuming fewer resources and taking every measure to ensure maximum recyclability of our packaging, we are reducing the burden on the planet, one packaging at a time.

What are the metrics, or measures of success, of an ecodesign process?

Performance indicators are essential metrics for assessing the success of an environmentally friendly product.

The following are the key factors in assessing our performance:

Assessment of ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors

The ESG report is essentially a “corporate health report” from an environmental, social and governance point of view.

This invaluable tool enables our stakeholders to understand our organization’s overall environmental, social and governance impact.

  • GHG (greenhouse gas) assessment: A measure of a product’s total carbon footprint over its entire life cycle. A significant reduction in this measure indicates effective management of GHG emissions.
  • Efficiency of resources: Assessment of the optimum use of natural resources (water and raw materials) during the production process.
  • Recyclability rate: Assessment of the ease with which the product can be recycled at the end of its useful life. A highly recyclable product demonstrates our commitment to a circular economy and responsible waste management.
  • Waste reduction: Measuring efficiency in minimizing waste and reusing residual materials from our manufacturing process.
  • Social impact: Assessing the positive impact of our products on users and the community.

How can you tell a product was ecodesigned?

57% of Canadian consumers are skeptical or do not believe companies’ environmental claims*… and unfortunately, they are right to be suspicious. Greenwashing is still widespread, and the lack of regulations governing environmental claims means that it can be difficult to know what to believe.

However, there are a number of reliable indicators that help to distinguish a truly sustainable product from one that is not.

Labelling and certifications
Identify companies or products with validated environmental labels or certifications. The best known to date is the B Corp certification, but there are several others.

Materials analysis
Ecodesigned products use non toxic, recycled, recyclable and/or sustainably sourced materials.

Companies committed to sustainability pledge to consider the impact of their entire value chain (upstream and downstream of production). Minimalist packaging (no over-packaging) is a good indicator of a product manufactured according to an ecodesign approach.

Availability of information and transparency
Take a look at the company’s environmental commitments: impact measurement, ESG report, carbon footprint, life cycle analysis, sustainability policy, etc. A socially responsible company communicates clear information and defined sustainability objectives.

By gathering these clues, you can decipher whether a product is truly eco-friendly… or not.

*Deloitte Canada Study, Creating value from sustainable products report, April 2023

What are the issues involved in ecodesign?

They are numerous. Here are some of them:

Innovation and technology
Ecodesign requires the integration of advanced technologies to develop innovative solutions that minimize environmental impact. Investments in research and development, robotization and optimization are therefore considerable, to ensure that we can always do better… with less!

Awareness and education
Education plays a key role in changing behaviour. For this reason, it is important for socially responsible companies to communicate credibly and transparently about their impact, their products and their processes.

Unfortunately, the lack of regulation regarding environmental claims means that this kind of narrative is often drowned in a sea of false or misleading claims, known as greenwashing. This erodes consumer confidence in corporate environmental claims, and makes it difficult to distinguish truly responsible companies from those using “green” claims for image and marketing purposes only.

Governments can play a crucial role in implementing measures and regulations that promote ecodesign. They can also contribute to awareness-raising efforts, and help curb the practice of greenwashing, which consists of providing false or erroneous information about a company’s environmental impact.

Who are the most progressive players in ecodesign?

More and more companies are opting for the ecodesign approach. Many are B Corp certified, as you can see on this page.

All these organizations share a common ambition: to use their business as a tool to initiate positive social and environmental change.

Calculate the potential environmental impact of your pharmacy

What if reducing your pharmacy’s environmental footprint started here?

In just a few seconds, calculate the environmental impact your pharmacy would have if it switched to our eco-friendly packaging.