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Sustainability Update – 2 years on

By November 21, 2022 January 20th, 2023 Greenbay Vet News

In January 2021 we created an official sustainability policy for Greenbay Vets, here is an update 2 years on.

We had a number of things already in place:

  • Switching to a greener electricity tariff, and to more efficient LED lighting.
  • Recycling paper, tins, plastic, card, glass and batteries.
  • Moving towards paperless e.g. electronic receipts, lab results, pet reminders and insurance claims.
  • Making use of the ‘cycle to work’ scheme and car sharing.
  • Learning how to help bees via the British Bee Veterinary Association.
  • Using refills, for e.g. hand soap, washing up liquid.
  • Purchasing Fair Trade supplies for the staff room.
  • Re-using towels, newspaper and blankets in our kennels area.
  • Using paper dispensing bags and carrier bags.
  • Using reusable, fabric scrub hats.
  • Use of low flow anaesthesia.

In 2021-2022 we completed the following actions:

  • Reducing waste by unsubscribing from unwanted mailings and requesting electronic invoices from suppliers, and switching supplier for patient nutraceuticals to one using less plastic packaging.
  • Re-usable coffee cups purchased for the staff room, for when colleagues purchase take-out coffee.
  • Increasing recycling -> recycling bin added to ‘patient prep/kennels’ area. Reminder to the team of what can be recycled.
  • Reviewed suppliers of stationary, cleaning and catering products. Most paper products were already recycled or FSC approved. Some substitutions made e.g. black bin bags replaced with ‘The Green Sack’ company (made from recycled farm waste plastic), zero-plastic Sellotape.
  • We also replaced our old gas boiler at Torquay, to a more efficient condensing one.
  • 2021 was the last year we sent out Christmas cards, in 2022 we will make a £200 donation to charity instead. We will continue to send sympathy cards, and have chosen a supplier who uses recycled paper, card and packaging.
  • We have limited options for planting flowers for pollinators at our sites, but did make use of hanging baskets in 2022 which somehow survived the heat-wave! Many of us have bee hotels in our gardens and we will provide a bee hotel and bee-friendly seeds to any of our employees who want them.
  • Participation in the 2022 Antibiotic Amnesty.

Plans for 2023:

  • We are making the switch to Elizabethan collars (the dreaded ‘cone of shame’) made from recycled fishing nets.
  • To investigate Sterilium as a surgical scrub alternative, to reduce the use of plastic disposable scrubbing brushes.
  • We would like to work out our carbon emissions and make a plan to reduce them where possible – we await with anticipation a carbon calculator for use in veterinary practices, which is being created by Vet Sustain.
  • A waste audit, to ensure we are recycling as much as possible as a team.

If you have any suggestions from your own workplace, please do let us know.

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