York vet practice sets sights on greener future

York vet practice sets sights on greener future

THE Minster Veterinary Practice in York is proving it cares for the planet as well as pets after embracing a greener future.

 The practice is reducing its carbon footprint and cutting waste by introducing a wide range of environmentally friendly initiatives, and the team is hoping clients who bring their pets to their main Salisbury Road hospital will support their campaign.

Among the green initiatives being introduced at the practice are:

  • Recycling extra PPE, including masks, gloves and aprons, worn by vets and nurses during the pandemic
  • Placing recycling stations for paper, cardboard and plastic around the practice
  • Having milk bottles delivered by the milkman every day instead of buying plastic cartons
  • Reducing water, gas and electricity consumption by at least 2% a year
  • Recycling pet food packaging, crisp packets and sweet wrappers through TerraCycle boxes
  • Using a water distiller to reduce the number of plastic bottles
  • Introducing reusable surgical drapes, gowns and scrub hats for veterinary surgeons.
  • Encouraging sustainable travel by team members and client.

Work has also started to create a green space outside of the practice,  left, with feeders and boxes, to encourage birds, insects and wildlife.

The practice hopes to encourage clients to support their initiatives by receiving invoices, receipts and admin communications by email rather than paper. Once Covid restrictions are lifted and clients can accompany their pets into the practice again, they will be able to bring in pet food packaging and pouches to be recycled.

Minster Vets has joined the Investors in the Environment (iiE) scheme and hopes to achieve the silver award in recognition of their green efforts.

The environmental initiatives are being overseen by vet Becky Sedman, who has a keen interest in sustainability and last year completed a course in business sustainability management with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

Becky said: “The veterinary profession is caring by nature so looking after the planet is a natural extension of looking after pets, animals and wildlife. As a veterinary practice, we want to embrace sustainable ways of working as we know how animals and the planet interact so it is our duty to do something to protect the environment.

“Veterinary practices produce a lot of waste, due to ensuring safety and protecting ourselves, pets and clients, especially during the pandemic, so it is important we take responsibility for our impact on the environment.

“By making even just small changes, we can achieve our targets and help to create a more sustainable future. The whole team has really thrown itself into sustainability and it has been a great team effort. What we are doing has been well received by clients and we hope once Covid restrictions are lifted, they will support some of our recycling initiatives.”

Minster Vets is part of VetPartners, a veterinary group with 150 practices across the UK and Europe, which earlier this year unveiled its sustainability strategy, committing itself and practices to  a range of goals that put sustainability at the heart of everything the company does.

VetPartners Sustainability Manager Hannah James said: “The team at Minster Vets has achieved a huge amount in a short space of time and are proving that small changes can add up to some significant impacts. Becky has done a fantastic job of bringing the team together, and the enthusiasm and passion of everyone has been really inspiring. I’m looking forward to sharing their success with other VetPartners practices to inspire them to do the same.”

VetPartners Sustainability Strategy: Looking Forward Together, has been rolled out across its 500 UK sites and can be viewed here: https://vetpartnersgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/VetPartners-Sustainability-Strategy.pdf

For media enquiries, please contact Amanda Little, VetPartners Senior PR and Communications Manager, on 07970 198 492 or email amanda.little@vetpartners.co.uk