A Wrexham vets has become IVC Evidensia’s first Positive Pawprint partner clinic. Rhyd Broughton Vets are in the vanguard of the new sustainability strategy, with IVC Evidensia using its leading role within the industry to drive changes that can make a real difference.
The Group aims to protect the health and happiness of people and their pets, while reducing its environmental impact, to promote a cleaner and more sustainable environment.
Around 20 clinics are working through the Positive Pawprint toolkit that has been produced and the North Wales vets are the first to use it to put the changes into practice.
Sarah Heath, Sustainability and ESG Director at IVC Evidensia, said: “We’re proud of how our dedicated clinics, vets and vet nurses deliver the highest standards of care for our patients.
“And we are excited to help make it easier for them to create a sustainable future. Rhyd Broughton becoming the first IVC Evidensia Positive Pawprint Partner is a fantastic milestone.”
The Wrexham clinic, which has received £1000 to contribute to further sustainability opportunities, has looked at a whole range of green initiatives, both in and outside the site.
Water-saving measures include foot-pedal operated taps and installing a water butt, so all outdoor water use comes from rainwater.
A new antibacterial salt-water solution is now used for cleaning in certain areas, reducing the need for chemicals. And bird boxes have been set up in a bee-friendly garden to attract wildlife.
“Sustainability is something we all need to be accountable for,” said Callie Thornton BVMS MRCVS, one of the Clinical Directors at Rhyd Broughton Vets.
“As a veterinary industry we have a significant environmental impact and it’s something we are trying our hardest to change. We are all very proud to be the first Positive Pawprint practice. We were already focused on trying to change the way we work to be more sustainable. Being able to achieve that helps show our clients we are going in the right direction.”
The Positive Pawprint toolkit is split into Caring for Planet, Caring for Patients and Caring for People.
“The toolkit that IVC Evidensia gave us to help with the Positive Pawprint was really helpful,” said Ms Thornton.
“It gives us a list if what we need to do and ideas that we can then develop ourselves. IVC Evidensia is one of the biggest vet groups in the world, so we have power in numbers and the capability to change the way the veterinary industry works.”
The Group’s first sustainability report, produced as part of the Positive Pawprint strategy, identified a number of challenging targets. It included having at least 85% of energy from renewable sources by the end of 2023 and sending zero waste to landfill in key markets.
Major strides have already been taken, with IVC Evidensia’s UK operations only using renewable energy and more than 700,000 vehicle miles eliminated and over 220 tonnes of CO2 saved by working with their UK wholesaler to reduce delivery frequencies.
As part of moves to support staff, a network of Wellbeing Champions and Mental Health First Aiders have been established, and an Ethnic Diversity Scholarship Scheme has been launched. A Care Fund, the first in the European veterinary sector, has saved the lives of hundreds of animals by supporting clients and veterinary teams experiencing financial difficulties.
Russell Trenter, COO of IVC Evidensia, said: “For an innovative, entrepreneurial company like ours, transforming how we do things to embed sustainability is an exciting challenge.
“We understand the power we have when we come together along with the benefits of sharing the knowledge and learnings we gain in one location, with the rest of the group.”
The Positive Pawprint Toolkit calls for practices to make the following changes:
Initiatives to reduce energy consumption and waste
Supporting team wellbeing by training team members as Mental Health First Aiders
Providing support to local charities and animal rescue centres
Training staff on improved clinical practices which benefit the wider environment
Supporting animal welfare (e.g. practicing responsible prescription of antibiotics and training staff on ways to reduce the volume of anaesthetic gas used)