An investment of £480,000 in anaesthetic monitors has enabled Linnaeus, one of the UK’s leading veterinary groups, to make capnography available to all its practices performing anaesthesia. 


This aims to improve patient and staff safety while reducing the level of greenhouse gases emitted by the business.

The group’s original quality improvement target focused on its primary care practices, which was then exceeded to meet clinical demand across its primary care and referral centres. More than 70 handheld pulse oximetry and capnography monitors have been delivered – along with 105 multiparameter monitors with pulse oximetry, capnography, temperature, ECG and blood pressure monitoring.

The anaesthetic gases isoflurane and sevoflurane are greenhouse gases, estimated to produce 34% of Linnaeus’s operational carbon footprint in 2020 – the carbon dioxide equivalent of around 1,500 tonnes of emissions. The roll-out of capnograph monitors is expected to reduce the group’s carbon footprint by allowing titration of fresh gas flows with non-rebreathing systems, safer lower flow anaesthesia with circle breathing systems, and assisting diagnosis of equipment leaks.

Ellie West is the environmental sustainability lead for Linnaeus, and an RCVS and EBVS® European Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia at Davies Veterinary Specialists. She said:

“For my clinical work, capnography is an incredibly valuable monitor. It helps to assess respiratory function, spot equipment faults, reduce exposure of staff to anaesthetic gases and manage cardiopulmonary arrests.

“From an environmental perspective, capnography brings significant additional value. By safely reducing the consumption of isoflurane and sevoflurane we are lowering the volume of anaesthetic gases released to the atmosphere. This has a massive impact compared with other options for reducing your carbon footprint as a veterinary professional* due to the greenhouse gas potency of these agents.

“While the investment into capnograph monitors is welcome news, there is still more that we can do. There will be an ongoing audit of anaesthetic gas use across Linnaeus to further support carbon reductions and help us look after the planet as well as our patients.”

The investment follows Linnaeus’s We Go for Lower Flow campaign, which launched in June 2021. The initiative promoted the benefits of lower flow anaesthesia, from the use of circle breathing systems to the value of non-rebreathing systems and capnography. Practices can access specialist-led training, webinars and posters about lower flow anaesthesia.

Linnaeus has also introduced a primary care nursing anaesthesia course and Referral Nurse Professional Development Programme (RNPD) in anaesthesia and analgesia, which are accredited by the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists.

In addition to lowering its greenhouse gas emissions, the group is taking part in a tree planting initiative run by Mars, which owns Linnaeus. Mars is planting a tree for each of its Associates, who could vote for the location of their tree.

Ellie added:

“Linnaeus employs around 5,000 Associates so planting a tree for each person makes a statement about the group’s commitment to the environment – and about the group’s goal to lessen its environmental footprint. We had a great response from colleagues, with nearly half of our trees going to Mantiqueira Mountains in Brazil.”

Other locations set to benefit from the Mars tree planting initiative are Cauvery Basin in India, Puebla State in Mexico and the Yazoo River Basin in Mississippi.

Linnaeus is owned by Mars Veterinary Health. For further information about Linnaeus, please visit https://www.linnaeusgroup.co.uk.

Back to news