One of the country’s leading small animal hospitals has earned prestigious recognition for its outstanding efforts to create an environmentally-friendly workplace. 

Linnaeus-owned Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, in Solihull, has received a Green award from Investors in the Environment (iiE), the national accreditation scheme for businesses working to reduce their carbon footprint. 

The Green award is iiE’s highest accolade and is awarded to companies which have made significant reductions in energy use and waste, along with increases in efficiency, recycling and sustainability. 

Willows, which recently invested £35,000 in a deluxe compressor and state-of-the-art oxygen generator system, received the iiE’s top accolade just a year after earning a silver award from the scheme. 

Other measures adopted and introduced by Willows as part of its work with the iiE include switching all lighting to LED energy-saving lights, creating new waste streams and reducing single-use items, such as saving 4,000 surgical hats from going to landfill by providing all clinical team members with washable hats. 

The commitments made by the Willows team have seen significant results, with an eight per cent overall drop in electricity usage across the hospital, a seven per cent fuel reduction and a 12 per cent rise in recycling with the hospital now creating 14 tonnes a year of recycling. 

David Hindley, facilities manager at Willows, has helped lead the ongoing eco-friendly work as part of the hospital’s ‘Green Giants’ group. 

He said: “We’re all absolutely delighted to have achieved this prestigious Green award from the iiE and I’m over the moon the team’s hard work and dedication to creating a more environmentally friendly hospital has been recognised. 

“As part of our commitment to the environment, our Green Giants group is continually looking at how we can reduce our carbon footprint. 

“The most recent action was the investment in a state-of-the-art oxygen generator system, which will enable us to not only reduce our carbon footprint courtesy of no longer requiring a HGV delivery up to four times a week, but it will also support the future-proofing of our hospital by ensuring we are no longer reliant on external suppliers for deliveries of oxygen. 
“As well as this major investment, we have made wide-ranging and continuous changes across the hospital which have resulted in a significant reduction in our environmental impact.” 

Toby Gemmill, managing director at Willows, said: “We are very happy to have been awarded Green status by iiE, their highest award for environmental advances in business. 

“To receive such high praise is fantastic news and a real testament to the important changes our team have introduced to cut our carbon footprint and improve our efficiency. 

“Well done to Dave, our ‘Green Giants’ and the whole team for driving this. To achieve such a successful outcome has taken a truly united effort, with every member of the team playing their part to earn this recognition. 

“We are now already looking at new ways to make further improvements to build on this award.” 

Ellie West, environmental sustainability lead at Linnaeus, was quick to congratulate Willows for being the fourth Linnaeus practice to achieve the coveted Green iiE award. 

She said: “Huge congratulations to Willows, Dave and the Green Giants team on this very well deserved Green award. 

“I am incredibly proud of everyone there for their tireless commitment to implementing eco-friendly measures over a prolonged period of time and this recognition is just reward for their dedication.” 

Willows offers specialist services in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, clinical nutrition, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and spinal surgery. 

To find out more about Willows’ wide range of specialist services, visit or search for Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service on Facebook. 

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