Davies Continues To Raise The Bar On Sustainability
While the pandemic continues to present challenges for the veterinary profession it hasn’t distracted Davies Veterinary Specialists (Davies) from pursuing its ambitious sustainability goals, which include sharing as many resources as possible to support the sector.
Rachel Evans, who is a member of the Davies Client Care team, has been appointed Green Group Coordinator, to help the Hertfordshire-based small animal referral practice continue to meet its targets, while Davies’ environmental sustainability pioneer Ellie West, who is a European Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia, remains actively involved.
The latest action includes re-accreditation with iiE and the submission of an iiE nomination for the Business Influencer category 2020, the results of which will be announced in October.
Davies was the first veterinary practice in the UK to achieve iiE’s Green accreditation, and its tireless Green Team are also striving to help other practices, by publishing resources, providing education and communicating. Practical initiatives introduced within the practice are already reaping dividends:
“The introduction of lower-flow anaesthesia protocols in January 2019, has contributed to an estimated 19,417 kgCO2eq reduction in emissions from anaesthetic gases between 2017-2019, said Ellie. “We have published free ‘Oxygen Conservation’, ‘Low-flow anaesthesia’ and ‘Capnography’ resources, and our team has been sharing our successful techniques to help support other practices who want to follow our model.”
This year Sarah Gibson, European Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia, hosted an on-site seminar ‘Improving Anaesthesia; Cutting Carbon Costs’ and Ian Battersby Head of Internal Medicine and Ellie conducted an Out Of Hours ‘Sustainability Special’.
A tree planting project initiated by Davies team members resulted in 25% offsetting of 2018 carbon emissions with Forest Carbon on National Tree Planting day 2019. Meanwhile an internal ‘Swap-Shop’ and ‘Library’ will actively embrace the benefits of recycling, once the COVID-19 situation enables them to open.
The Davies ‘Green Group’ was shortlisted for IEMA’s Best Team 2019. Most recently the practice has started recycling non-contaminated fluid bottles and has invested in a steam cleaner to save on water and chemicals for cleaning. Colleagues are encouraged to participate in Terracycling with 40kg worth of pet food pouches, 21kg of crisp packets, 1kg of hygiene packaging, almost 10kg of writing equipment, 3kg of contact lens packaging, 9kg of dental hygiene products and packaging, half a kilo of biscuit and over a kilo of confectionary wrappers saved from landfill in the period from June 2020. Since Davies began collecting for Terracycle in 2019, they have sent more than £100 in Terracycle donations to charities of the year; ‘Dogs on the Streets’ and ‘Dogs Trust’. In the second half of 2019, waste was reduced by 20% compared to the first half. This year, parent company Mars recognised Davies sustainability achievements by making a donation of £5000 to UK charities Medical Detection Dogs and Stray Cat Rescue.
To add incentive to help the environment, Davies maintenance team member Danny Baylis has recently installed a hand-built Barn Owl Box and a camera trap at a suspected Badger Set onsite and plans to upload footage to the sustainability section of the Davies website.
Ellie West continues to undertake resource-sharing activities. This year she has spoken to Liverpool University Vet Students and at SPVS-VMG congress. She has also created podcasts and articles for many of the leading veterinary publications and associations. Ellie achieved Associate membership in IEMA exams (2019) and helped found and is a VetSustain Champion. She has also worked with sector organisations, developing a sustainability position for the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists, lobbied for the journal to improve its wrapping to a compostable material and contributed to BVA’s ‘One Health in Action Report’.
The Davies ‘Green Group’ publishes quarterly internal and referral Newsletters and resources including steps taken in practice, CPD and ‘Sustainability News’. The group has also published a ‘Pet Owner’ Newsletter, which is proving to be a helpful resource for vets to share with interested clients.
Tim Richardson, Managing Director of Davies said: “The dedication and commitment of our Green Group is infectious! That the team’s continual efforts are helping to inspire and support other UK veterinary practices to forge ahead with sustainability practices is an accolade in itself.”
To find out more about Davies’ sustainability initiatives please visit https://vetspecialists.co.uk/sustainability/
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