Social responsibility

West Chester CenterWell Pharmacy Distribution Center Achieves TRUE Zero Waste Certification

Prescription bottles crushed and bundled for recycling.

The distribution center is the first Humana facility to achieve this accreditation for greatly reducing waste at the facility and minimizing their impact on the environment and communities.

Humana knows that transforming healthcare requires transforming the way we address environmental risks to health. We recognize there is an undeniable link between our physical and emotional well-being and the health of the environment. To that end, we are continuing to invest our time and resources toward efforts to protect and care for the places and planet all people depend on. Much of our effort to positively impact the environment has gone toward making Humana’s buildings more efficient. One recent investment has enabled Humana’s West Chester CenterWell Pharmacy Distribution Center in West Chester, Ohio, to achieve the TRUE zero waste certification from Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI).

TRUE is a program meant to support companies in reducing their impact on the environment and their communities. The approach is more holistic than just addressing and reducing a company’s waste. It is focused on the frontend process or upstream (waste from vendor suppliers and what is generated from the products they provide) to downstream (waste haulers and how they handle waste and recycling). As part of the process, companies can identify cost reductions and risks in the supply chain and influence suppliers and vendors to become more sustainable. To become a certified zero waste site, a site has to divert on average at least 90% of its waste. That can be done through recycling, reusing or recovering the materials for "productive use in nature of the economy."

“Achieving TRUE Zero Waste Certification is a tremendous milestone for our team at CenterWell Pharmacy. This certification reflects our commitment to sustainability, care for the communities we serve, and is a great example of our values in action,” said Jared Timmons PharmD, Director Mail Order/OTC Pharmacy Distribution.

To achieve the TRUE Certification goal, the West Chester CenterWell Pharmacy Distribution Center partnered with Georgia-Pacific, a waste hauler company, to pick up major recyclable streams, reducing the amount of waste hauls with the traditional waste hauler. In 2022, the distribution center recycled 799.1 tons of cardboard, 278.2 tons of pill bottles/caps/shrink wrap and 65.6 tons of pamphlet paper for a total of 1,142.9 tons of recycled material. In addition to reducing waste, the program is also on track to recoup more than $100,000 per year in reduced spending for waste disposal and through rebates on cardboard. In fact, West Chester was able to remove two of its three waste compactors thanks to recycling. Humana and CenterWell employees provided feedback along the way to help streamline and update the processes, allowing operations teams to separate out the recyclable materials without any major impacts to normal workflows.

Getting to this point took some significant work from Humana’s Pharmacy Operations teams and a strong partnership with Humana’s Workplace Solutions team and the company’s vendor partners. West Chester's success has now provided a blueprint for other pharmacy locations to adopt.

Humana will continue to assess other facilities that may be good candidates for the TRUE certification as part of our efforts to positively impact the health of each person, each community, the healthcare system and the environment. To learn more about Humana’s environmental sustainability efforts and our continued work to make it easier for people to achieve their best health, please review Humana’s most recent Impact Report