A Staffordshire vet practice has earned prestigious recognition for its sustainability work from a national accreditation scheme.

Linnaeus-owned Donnachie & Townley, in Rugeley and Stafford, has seen its ambitious green efforts rewarded with a bronze award from Investors in the Environment (iiE).

Donnachie & Townley has set up a dedicated ‘green group’ and launched a range of changes to gain the recognition from the iiE, which has teamed up with Linnaeus in a unique partnership that sees up to 50 per cent of the vet group’s practices taking part in its accreditation scheme.

To achieve the highly-regarded bronze award, Donnachie & Townley has implemented changes such as team members growing their own food for animals and reducing their electricity usage in a bid to dramatically offset their carbon footprint.

Clinical director Sarah Sheppard, who is leading the scheme for Donnachie & Townley alongside veterinary nurse Diane Royle, said: “We built a team of environmental enthusiasts to help achieve this fantastic accomplishment, who regularly meet to discuss how we can reduce the carbon footprint at our practice.

“To transform the way in which we function and the way we care for the environment, we have introduced a number of improvements – some major and some minor.

“We now measure our waste production and aim to reduce this over the next 12 months. To do this, we have implemented new recycling protocols in-house and we use hot composters on site to recycle our food waste.

“Other new measures at Donnachie & Townley include recycling our ink cartridges with a registered ink cartridge recycling scheme and using Terracycle to recycle our crisp and chocolate packets, pens and pet food sachets.

“We have now become a bee-friendly practice and we’re actively supporting the Linnaeus ‘Paws to Turn Off’ campaign, which urges team members to switch off lights.

“We’re keen to go further and have drawn up a carbon footprint of the practice which reveals our biggest problems are anaesthetic gases, so we will be introducing low flow anaesthetic techniques to our practice.

“Future ideas include opening our Terracycle scheme to the public, creating a travel plan which involves car sharing, cycle work to scheme and public transport, and creating a community garden scheme using our homemade compost. We will also strive to achieve the iiE’s top green award.”

Ellie West, environmental sustainability lead at Linnaeus, said: “I’m delighted to see Donnachie & Townley receive this award.

“Linnaeus focuses strongly on quality of care and this translates to becoming a sustainable business and upholding our responsibilities to our clients, Associates and communities.

“I am so excited to be leading this ambitious sustainability agenda that will strive to deliver a better future for everyone and we’re thrilled to see another of our Linnaeus partners really achieving excellence.”

April Sotomayor CEnv MIEMA, from iiE, said: “Congratulations to Donnachie & Townley on achieving this bronze award.

“We were impressed with their high staff engagement levels creating a positive eco-friendly culture. There are also some great essential actions covering broader sustainability goals, including One Health and nurse clinics for preventative medicine, antimicrobial stewardship, stock control and drugs, CPD, and eco-friendly purchasing.

“We anticipate it will not be long before they have achieved Green status which is our highest level of accreditation.”

For more information on Donnachie & Townley, which also has a practice in Stafford, visit https://www.rugeley-vets.co.uk/ or search for Donnachie & Townley on social media.

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