Vet Business

Can We Make Our Vet Practice “Green”?

For the past couple years I have been wondering if there were “green” initiatives that could benefit our veterinary practice. There were many areas where I thought we could make a positive

impact on the environment. We drive a lot, we buy large amount of supplies and we live in freezing temperatures for 4-5 months of the year. Also, I was taking into consideration our young work force. I am always hearing that people under 30 are very interested in the environment. In hopes of making our practice able to attract and retain great staff I thought being “green” was a smart move for our business and to our community at large. Finally, I thought our clients may appreciate our efforts. We tried using small SUVs instead of the larger Yukons and Suburbans favoured by many equine vets. We found that although our gas bills went down we spent more money on brake jobs and after 3 years we realize they would not hold up for much longer. We have since moved up to a mid-sized SUV. This exercise reminded me that making environmentally smart decisions is not easy.

Recently, a technician approached me about contributing a series of blogs on ways to be “green” in our vet practice to our web page. Great idea I told her but lets create a plan that will not only benefit us but can be a positive influence on other practices and the equine industry as well. With that challenge in mind here is some of what we are going to work on over the next 6 months.

Can we reduce the amount of driving we do as a percentage of sales? What is a realistic goal and what do we need to do to achieve it?  Can we reduce the frequency of ordering from suppliers so we get fewer deliveries? Are there products that use less packaging that we can use instead of our current ones? What is better for the environment shavings or straw as bedding? How can we measure our results to know if we are succeeding in lessening our impact on the environment?

The next thing we need to is find a meaningful way to spread our message. Telling people to turn off lights and lower the thermostat becomes white noise after a while. I read a great line recently that being “green” is the new beige. We are so inundated with the “green” message that it is becoming bland and meaningless. Our challenge then is to find initiatives that are easy, economically realistic and have a real impact on our industry. If it costs too much and is too hard to do it won’t get done beyond the hard core enthusiast..

That is our plan. What do you think? Are we biting off more than we can chew or is this a worthwhile project? If anyone has any ideas or experiences in the area please share your thoughts.

 

Mike Pownall

 

 

58 comments
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  57. Congratulations on having one of the most sophisticated blogs Ive come across in some time! Its just incredible how much you can take away from something simply because of how visually beautiful it is. Youve put together a great blog space –great graphics, videos, layout. This is definitely a must-see blog!

  58. I hope you never stop! This is one of the best blogs Ive ever read. Youve got some mad skill here, man. I just hope that you dont lose your style because youre definitely one of the coolest bloggers out there. Please keep it up because the internet needs someone like you spreading the word.

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