Welcome to Sustainability News
In response to the fantastic support and interest in our Green initiatives at Davies Veterinary Specialists since our accreditation with Investors in the Environment, we will be sending out regular newsletters with our green ideas and information. We will link into other nationwide projects, so please do send your updates to our Sustainability Lead, Ellie West firstname.lastname@example.org
Davies Veterinary Specialists’ Sustainability Lead Ellie West takes part in our cycling challenge on World Environment Day 2019
You may be aware of some of these already, but here are some our ideas and projects underway;
- You can find information about our sustainability initiatives at Davies here: https://vetspecialists.co.uk/sustainability
- For world environment day on 5th June 2019, we produced a newsletter for clients with suggestions on how to reduce your carbon footprint as a pet owner, available here https://vetspecialists.co.uk/keep-up-to-date/newslettters/green-group_pet-owner_news_0719
- This webinar from Jan 2019 follows our journey so far with ideas for the future, as told by Ellie West www.thewebinarvet.com/webinar/one-practices-journey-towards-environmental-sustainability:
- We have made our set of 8 waste segregation posters available for download here https://vetspecialists.co.uk/sustainability/sustainability-initiatives
What are our easy wins?
We thought we would give you a quick summary of our Green initiatives:
- Reusable sharps and pharmaceutical bins
We have our new Sharpsmart management system and improved waste segregation and training in place; correct waste disposal reduces carbon emissions.
We currently send difficult to recycle plastics (pet food packaging, contact lenses, crisps) to Terracycle and receive points towards money for charity.
We have 3 air source heat pumps so far, saving electricity, and Carbon Trust turn-off stickers.
All of our paper is now either PEFC or FSC certified, and our printers are set to double-sided.
We use reusable scrub hats (shed less microfibers than some disposables) and reusable warming blankets outside of theatres to reduce single-use plastic use.
Anaesthetic gases are Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)
- This includes the gases that we use, isoflurane and sevoflurane. Their emission into the atmosphere accounts for about 5% of our carbon emissions at Davies.
- They prevent the Earth cooling by plugging an atmospheric ‘window’, a natural gap in the absorbance of heat by natural GHGs (e.g. water and carbon dioxide).
- Nitrous oxide is a far more potent GHG and is ozone-depleting – do not use it!
- At Davies, we encourage the use of circle systems where appropriate, and the use of a minimal fresh gas flow to allow safe anaesthesia. With non-rebreathing systems, the capnography can be used to titrate fresh gas flows to a safe minimum with no rebreathing of CO2.
- We ran a ‘low-flow anaesthesia’ evening session for nurses on 19th June 2019; for more information,
contact Jo Loach.
- There will be a position statement coming from the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists – watch this space! (ava.eu.com)
The RSPB has released a birdsong download along with easy-access information on the choirs of birds who will soon be singing for us, as part of its campaign to put protection of our wildlife and environmental high on the political agenda. Learn about cuckoos, swifts and chiff-chaffs, all returning from Africa, and hear them sing!
Find out more at: https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/campaigning/let-nature-sing
Water on the go
Refill is an award-winning campaign to prevent plastic pollution at source by making it easier to reuse and refill your bottle instead of buying a new one. In the UK alone, we consume 13 billion plastic bottles a year. With over 14,000 Refill Stations nationwide, refilling your water bottle for free has never been easier. Simply tap the app, find your local Refill Station and get fresh drinking water on the go.
Other resources for vets
- This article in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia outlines the environmental impacts of veterinary anaesthesia, and what can be done to reduce them: https://www.vaajournal.org/article/S1467-2987(19)30018-2/fulltext
- BVA and RCVS have included sustainability within VetFutures; see: https://www.bva.co.uk/news-campaigns-and-policy/bva-community/bva-blog/a-journey-towards-environmental-sustainability-in-one-veterinary-practice/
- BVA have produced a position statement on sustainable agriculture, see: https://www.bva.co.uk/news-campaigns-and-policy/policy/farm-animals/sustainable-animal-agriculture/
- Coming up, there will be sustainability streams at the London Vet Show 2019, SPVS Congress 2020 and BSAVA 2020 – come along and say hello!
If you have any ideas about how we can be more sustainable, please contact our Sustainability Lead, Ellie West