Vet Sustain – Garston Go Green!
April 1, 2021
It is no secret that the healthcare industry is far from sustainable. In 2018, human healthcare alone contributed 6.3% of England’s total carbon footprint. The NHS has committed to net-zero emissions by 2040 and it has become increasingly apparent that the veterinary sector must follow suit. Vets need to consider the vast amount of single-use plastic they throw away each day, the impact of anaesthetic gases on our atmosphere, the ecological consequences of antibiotic misuse and the nutritional demands of our ever-increasing pet population.
In October 2019, a group of UK vets launched ‘Vet Sustain’ – the world’s first organisation dedicated to supporting veterinary professionals in being a leading force for sustainability. Shortly afterwards, with the support of the partners, a group of like-minded colleagues set up a ‘Green Team’ at Garston Veterinary Group. Drawing inspiration from the wealth of resources developed by Vet Sustain, Garston has already become one of the first UK veterinary practices to make huge leaps forward in reducing their carbon footprint. This has included streamlining our recycling and heating processes, reducing our electricity and paper consumption, and phasing out the use of nitrous oxide (a potent greenhouse gas used in anaesthesia).
The Garston team have embraced the move away from single-use plastic – phasing in washable fabric theatre hats and masks, increasing recycling efforts and promoting the use of environmentally-friendly products such as bamboo toothbrushes and paper bags.
Garston’s Green Team – future vision
Our main vision for the future is to try and get as many of the great ideas suggested by our Green Team up and running as we possibly can! These include creating bee-friendly garden areas for our native bees and looking at how we manage clinical waste, as well as improving the initiatives that we have already put in place.
Thank you for your support.