Why Should Veterinary Practices Champion Sustainability?

eco friendly vets

Almost 70% of pet owners are worried about climate change, making sustainability a top priority in pet care. This includes veterinary practices, where eco-friendly values shouldn’t be forgotten amid high-quality care. Yet, for pet owners and veterinary professionals, finding a practice that takes sustainability seriously is still difficult, even in an age where green values are becoming a top priority.

So, why should practices change their ways? In this guide, we’ll take a look at the importance of sustainability in the veterinary industry and how practices can start implementing eco-friendly values. Let’s dive in.

Why is Sustainability Important in Veterinary Practices?

In the 21st century, sustainability should be an integral part of every industry.

The world is warming at alarming rates, with scientists recently predicting we’ll soar past the 1.5℃ maximum temperature increase and hit at least 2.5℃ by the end of the century. This would drastically alter life as we know it. But, not all hope is lost. Every positive change we make now to reduce our impact on the environment will work towards preventing the potential damage of our planet.

This isn’t a fight any one person can do alone, either. There needs to be widespread change and, as businesses are top polluters, the decisions of company owners are a good place to start. That includes within the world of veterinary practices.

Give Eco-Conscious Pet Owners a Good Option

Pet owners are becoming more aware of their cats and dogs’ impact on the planet. Many want to implement eco-friendly practices to reduce their fluffy friends’ carbon footprints (or pawprints), too, and they need businesses to help them do that. That’s where veterinary practices come into play.

By turning towards greener pet care, you give eco-conscious pet owners more options for their animals. The boost this can have to client lists can’t be ignored, either. If more pet owners want eco-friendly options and you’re the only local practice taking sustainability seriously, they’re going to choose you.

sustainable vet practice

How to Become an Eco-Friendly Veterinary Professional

With an ethical responsibility and clear marketing perks, championing sustainability as a veterinary practice is a no-brainer. But, how can you start putting together an eco-friendly business model? Let’s take a look at some ideas to kickstart eco-conscious change.

Work With Sustainable Suppliers

Veterinary practices work with suppliers constantly. This opens up an opportunity to become more sustainable by switching up your partners based on their green values, choosing businesses that align with your sustainable goals.

Some good characteristics of an eco-friendly supplier include:

  • Plastic-free packaging
  • Low carbon delivery (including using electric vehicles and sustainable fleet management)
  • Using recycled and recyclable materials
  • Fewer chemicals
  • Investing in regenerative and circular processes

You can also find sustainable options for your furnishings and tools. Rather than buying new plastic flooring for your surgical rooms, for example, look for recycled plastic or an environmentally friendly alternative that maintains hygiene standards.

Reduce Single-Use Items

Veterinary practices use single-use items to remain hygienic. By switching to reusable alternatives, though, you can instantly boost your sustainability and reduce your waste.

Some eco-friendly switches for single-use items include:

  • Reusable cloth surgical hats, cloth towels, and gowns (sterilised properly)
  • Theatre shoes rather than shoe covers
  • Reusable sterilisation wraps (or tins!)
  • Water purifiers instead of purified water bottles

These simple changes can have a big impact, drastically cutting down your practice’s carbon footprint and taking the strain from already overused landfills.

Look For Eco-Friendly Pet Food (and Toys!)

Pet food tends to be high in meat and shipped from all over the world, making it a bit of an environmental nightmare. To create a more sustainable veterinary practice, consider switching to a greener pet food supplier.

This can be used both to feed the animals while they’re in your care and also to sell to pet owners, creating a new revenue stream and cementing your image as an eco vet.

You could also sell other eco-friendly pet products, like toys made from recycled materials and treats in cardboard packaging.

Switch to Renewable Energy Suppliers

Looking for a quick way to become more green? Switch your veterinary practice’s energy supplier to one that utilises predominately renewable energy.

These energy companies use green energy alternatives, including solar power and wind power, to keep your electricity supply up and running. Lower your carbon footprint and gain green points by making the switch.

Champion Sustainable Thinking in your Practice

From veterinary surgeons to cleaners, make sure everyone’s involved in your eco-friendly ethos and up-to-date on green policies.

This can include simple tasks like switching off lights when not in use and recycling, and can also extend to only approving eco-friendly suppliers and considering sustainability when making business decisions. Welcome suggestions from your team, too, and bring everybody on board with the changes to make a real difference.

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