One of the UK’s leading vet groups has formed a unique partnership with Investors in the Environment (iiE) as it puts sustainability at the heart of its future plans
Linnaeus, which has 44 primary care and 12 referral practices across the UK, is the first company to partner with the iiE’s environmental accreditation in such a way, with up to 50 per cent of its practices initially taking part in the scheme.
The iiE’s accreditation has been created to help businesses assess and reduce their environmental impacts, with practices being asked to meet high-level audit criteria, set reduction targets and commit to an ongoing auditing process.
A number of Linnaeus practices have already launched green initiatives internally, including Davies Veterinary Specialists, which has achieved Green level iiE accreditation, and North Downs Specialist Referrals, which is working towards Silver level.
In line with its green ambitions, Linnaeus has appointed Ellie West (pictured), an RCVS and EBVS specialist veterinary anaesthetist at Davies, as its environmental sustainability lead.
Ellie, who picked up the title of green champion 2018/19 at the annual iiE Awards, has already passed on her sustainability teachings to trainee vets, after giving a lecture for students at the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Veterinary Science earlier in the year, with a date at Bristol Veterinary School set for October.
She said: “It’s vital we get the vets of the future understanding how they will engage with sustainable practices. It is part of their social and professional duties, especially given the pressing nature of the ecological crises.
“With environmental sustainability in veterinary practice, our future is in our hands. We can all do our bit by supporting good governance, educating our colleagues and clients and thinking about how we can change the way we practice, such as implementing lower-carbon anaesthesia.
“Linnaeus has a strong focus on quality of care and this extends to being a sustainable business and fulfilling our commitments to our clients, associates and communities.
“I am so excited to be part of this ambitious sustainability agenda, which will work to deliver a better future for everyone.
“As part of our long-term strategy, it was a natural fit for us to partner with iiE to help deliver on our ambitions of minimising our carbon footprint and making all aspects of how we run as sustainable as possible.”
April Sotomayor, from iiE, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Linnaeus and its practices on achieving environmental accreditation and continuing to build on its sustainability values.
“This shows a clear determination from the group to really prioritise its sustainability efforts in line with our independent accreditation scheme.”
One of the first Linnaeus practices to sign up to the project was Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, in Solihull, which was recently crowned VetHelpDirect’s Best UK Vet 2020 and has established its own ‘Green Giants Group’, led by facilities manager David Hindley.
David said: “At Willows, we have always been committed to caring for the environment and we have taken great pride in our environmental efforts, with our entire team invested in ensuring that, as a hospital, we do all we can to become as sustainable as possible.
“Forming the Green Giants Group has enabled us to focus our green efforts and provides the opportunity for team members to put forward ideas which ensure we make exceptional environmental changes.
“Our ongoing changes include significantly reducing paper waste by digitalisation, through to large-scale projects generating long-term energy savings, so we are extremely proud to partner with the iiE accreditation scheme.”