Sustainability News for Vets - Autumn 2019

Welcome to Sustainability News


Davies Veterinary Specialists recently received our Green level iiE accreditation.

This means we’ve demonstrated:

  • An environment policy, and environmental management scheme in place across the practice (
  • Monthly collection of key resource data: electricity, gas, diesel oil, water, paper and anaesthetic gases, with a calculation of the carbon footprint of these and detailed action plans
  • Annual 2% minimum reduction in resource use
  • Detailed waste management, recycling schemes and travel planning
  • At least 3 corporate social responsibility projects per year 

For any further information, contact Ellie West, or visit

Davies Veterinary Specialists awarded iiE Green Award


Use the waste hierarchy to source Green products

Waste disposal accounts for only 0.1% of the NHS England carbon footprint in 2018, but procurement of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals adds up to 25%. In addition, extraction of fossil fuels is increasingly environmentally harmful and incineration of plastics can release respiratory pollutants. To reduce your impact from single-use plastics, follow the basic Waste Hierarchy principles of:

  • REDUCE first
  • REUSE next
  • RECYCLE if possible
  • DISPOSAL as last resort


Davies Veterinary Specialists Sustainability recycling process

Reduce single-use plastics

Try cardboard pharmaceuticals bins (e.g. Biobins, Econix Ltd). Use steam cleaners (less chemical cleaning and plastics for infection control). Try silicon lids for food containers. Provide reusable drinks mugs/bottles. Use the NHS Glove Awareness campaign to reduce use.

Plant-based products

Check out the IMS Green range including Green Air rectal gloves. Use bamboo toothbrushes to clean clippers. Note: may not be compostable in domestic waste streams due to contamination and waste disposal regulations, but at least no microplastics or dioxins produced!


Try bank-style refillable pens, rechargeable batteries and machine washable scrubbing pads, as well as Sharpsmart sharps/pharmaceuticals bins

Recycled products

Green sacks, Greencol collars, pill pots – consider whether and how they can be recycled themselves (check your waste regulations)


Ask your waste manager to recycle plastics – Millpledge have released a schematic of all their recyclable packaging (LDPE is used for most plastic bag packaging). Investigate Terracycle’s free programmes.


Launching VetSustain

On 4th October 2019, World Animal Day, VetSustain launched a new website ( and Facebook group. Vet Sustain’s vision is for the veterinary profession to be a leading force for sustainability. Their mission is to inform and inspire veterinary professionals to deliver positive change in society by integrating sustainability principles and practices in to our working lives. For more information, or to get involved, email


Coming up

Ellie West speaking at London Vet Show 2020

London Vet Show

At London Vet Show on Thursday 14th November 9.30-10.50am, Ellie West will be speaking alongside David Pencheon, ex-director of the Sustainable Development Unit, in the BVA Congress stream on “Costing the earth? Now is the time to green the vet profession” (

The SDU is an organisation which develops tools, policy and research to help organisations across UK health and care embed and promote sustainable development in order to reduce emissions, save money and improve the health of people and communities.


Ellie West speaking at SPVS Congress 2020

SPVS Congress

On Saturday 25th January 2020, at the SPVS Congress in Newport, South Wales, Ellie will be talking alongside medical waste experts Anne Woolridge and sustainability professionals from Northampton General Hospital and iiE, for a day’s lectures on Sustainability in Practice.


Wilding at

Knepp Wilding video in Sustainability Newsletter Oct 2019

Since 2001, the Knepp estate of over 3,500 acres in West Sussex just 16 miles from Gatwick airport stopped being intensively farmed, and the equipment and stock were sold off to pay the debts of the profitless farm. The owners wanted to pioneer a new land management system; to let the land and its grazing animals manage themselves. Here, nature is given freedom to grow.

The resulting increases in wildlife have been astonishing; extremely rare species such as turtle doves, nightingales and purple emperor butterflies are breeding here, and astounding numbers of species now make their home at Knepp. Knepp safaris give visitors a chance to be part of this transformation.

This project has shown that nature need only be given a chance to establish itself, and offers hope for managing some of the problems in the natural environment, by improving the fertility carbon sequestration within soils, flood mitigation, improving water and air quality and maintaining biodiversity.

Find out more at:

For more information on how to give nature a home, see


If you have any ideas or questions, please contact our Sustainability Lead, Ellie West

Linnaeus Veterinary Limited trading as Davies Veterinary Specialists 01582 883950

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