Welcome to the our latest Sustainability Newsletter.
At Davies, our intent is more than to improve just our own sustainability; we want to help other practices navigate the steps to take to improve both environmental and social sustainability in their own veterinary practice. Our green group have put together this newsletter which includes a feature on carbon literacy, details of sustainability CPD events for vets, plus an update on recent green initiatives at Davies. We hope you enjoy reading and that this newsletter helps you on your journey.
by Ellie West (Sustainability Lead)
Continuing our newest feature, Ellie West (Anaesthetist and Linnaeus Sustainability Lead) shares Greenhouse Facts for Veterinary Professionals.
Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Anaesthetic Agents
Carbon dioxide is one of many greenhouse gases (GHG); the global warm-ing potential (GWP) of others is compared using carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), in kg or tonnes (t), where the global warming potential of CO2 is 1.
250ml isoflurane releases 190kgCO2e. During anaesthesia, if fresh gas flow (FGF) is reduced by 25% on vaporiser settings of iso 2% with FGF starting at 3L/min for 4 hours per 251 working days, anaesthetic-related GHG emissions can be reduced 3.5tCO2e per year (from 14.1 to 10.6tCO2e).
The equivalent 25% FGF reduction using sevoflurane (49kgCO2e / 250 ml; vaporiser settings of sevo 3.5% with FGF starting at 3L/min for 4 hours per 251 working days) are 1.7 tCO2e per year (from 6.7 to 5 tCO2e).
Nitrous oxide releases around 0.56kgCO2e/litre (based on a density of 1.98g/L and 298kgCO2e/kg of N2O). Therefore, as an adjunct to anaesthesia for 4 hours/day (at 1.5 L/min each of oxygen and N2O for 251 working days), the N2O-related GHG emissions would be 50.6t of CO2e per year. Carbon equivalents from the volatile anaesthetic agent would be additional, although N2O will allow a mild MAC-reduction in animals. Free app; ‘The Anaesthetic Impact Calculator’ (rcoa.ac.uk/about-college/strategy-vision/environment-sustainability/anaesthetic-impact-calculator) helps to calculate and compare the GWP of anaesthetic agents.
Originally published to accompany the lecture “What is happening in veterinary sector – high-level perspective” in the Sustainability stream, Friday 26th March, BSAVA Virtual 2021. References on request.
The latest in lower flow anaesthesia
The latest action in Linnaeus’ ‘We Go For Lower Flow’ campaign, launched in June 2021, sees a £480,000 investment in anaesthetic equipment rolled out to over 50 Linnaeus practices across the UK. The equipment includes handheld pulse oximetry and capnography monitors and 105 multi-parameter monitors with pulse oximetry, capnography, temperature, ECG and blood pressure monitoring. The equipment will allow practices to conduct safer lower flow anaesthesia, reducing the levels of volatile anaesthetic agents and associated emissions.
A Hairy Situation
A MASSIVE THANK YOU to Kim Buckley and the theatre team who have been saving clean fur clippings from the theatre for donation to Matter of Trust who felt fur and hair donations into mats which are then used to soak up oil spills or divert harmful chemicals away from waterways. We recently donated another 7-8 kg of clippings!
CPD and Resources
CPD & Webinars
Becoming Carbon Neutral – A Guide to Why, How and When with Chantelle Brandwood;
Building a sustainable future veterinary profession through curriculum change:
BVA Webinar Series Greener Veterinary Practice Webinar Series:
Sustainability – what difference can one person make? With Ellie West
How do I get my boss to care about sustainability? With Helen Swift
How can RVNs help empower the veterinary team to go green? With Jo Oakden
What we’re listening to
VETchat by The Webinar Vet
Exploring diverse topics with sustainability titles including;
- Bringing Back The Great Bustard
- Can You Carbon Offset Your Pet?
- Feeding the Future: Climate Change, Population Growth and Technology
Click here to see all the topics available.
Meet Davies’ Green Group
Pictured left to right; Ben Orton – Hospital Director, Nat Whitley – Internal Medic, Emma-Louise Hiddle – Student RVN, Daisy-May Molyneaux – Client Care, Zoe Halfacree – Soft Tissue Surgeon
To download a copy of this newsletter as a pdf, just click here:
Download April – June 2022 issue of Sustainability News for Veterinary Professionals