Sustainability at Davies Veterinary Specialists – iiE Case Study

Jo Loach

Anaesthesia, Leadership, Sustainability, Veterinary Professionals

13th November 2018

We are extremely proud of the fact that Davies is the first veterinary practice to have achieved accreditation from Investors in the Environment (iiE). Davies Veterinary Specialists is one of the largest and most diverse small animal specialist practices in Europe. Founded in 1998 by Jerry Davies and his wife Olivia, the practice has grown steadily and now employs over 170 people including over 60 veterinary nurses, 50 veterinary surgeons and a large Client Care team. Foremost our commitment is to offer outstanding care to our patients, our pet owners and our referring vets.

The Davies Green Group was established in February 2017 by a group of enthusiastic team members from its clinician, nursing, maintenance, reception and kennel assistant teams. We wanted our veterinary practice to become more socially and environmentally sustainable and Investors in the Environment provided a framework to help us systematically categorise and assess our activities. Our key impacts to address were consumption of energy, waste production and disposal, paper usage, transport of people and animals and procurement.

Over 2018, our Green Group built on previous green initiatives by systematically assessing the practice’s activities, establishing a comprehensive environmental policy and action plan and submitting these, with relevant evidence, for audit by iiE. Our actions included measuring resource use, improving recycling, reducing waste, engaging staff, and as a result reducing the practice’s carbon footprint and financial costs. As an example, we have switched to using Biobin containers to hold our pharmaceutical waste, which reduces costs by around £1,200 per annum, and more importantly reduces the amount of plastics that are produced and incinerated.

We were awarded Silver accreditation in August 2018. Our intent is to more than just improve our own sustainability; we want to help other practices navigate the steps to take to improve both environmental and social sustainability in their own practice. We plan to share experience and knowledge by providing ‘Sustainability CPD’ for other veterinary practices and by engaging with stakeholder groups locally and nationally.

Green champion Ellie West, who is an Anaesthetist at Davies, said: “We initially found embedding sustainable principles in our daily activities challenging, but iiE have helped us to focus and structure our environmental management scheme to achieve our goals. We hope our achievement will have a positive impact on our staff, clients, referring veterinary practices and national bodies, and that we can provide inspiration and support for other practices to follow suit.”

We have created our own sustainability webpages here; https://vetspecialists.co.uk/sustainability/

Davies Veterinary Specialists, Manor Farm Business Park, Higham Gobion, Herts SG5 3HR 01582 883950

©2018 Davies Veterinary Specialists Limited