Sustainability in the SATH
As a big veterinary hospital caring for over 10000 pets every year and with just under 200 members of staff the SATH is very aware of its carbon footprint. Both staff and management feel very strongly that we must take responsibility and try to improve our sustainability, striving to continuously do better.
To this end a sustainability working group was created at the end of 2020 and after some initial monitoring and recording of resource usage and waste disposal an action plan has been created. We see this as a long-term project that should constantly evolve and progress, but several parts of this plan have already been implemented including:
- We have significantly reduced our usage of single use materials and replaced them with reusable alternatives whenever this is safe and does not affect our strict infection control policies.
- Our anaesthesia team is closely monitoring and recording all our anaesthetic gas use and reducing this whenever possible.
- We have improved our waste disposal, increasing our recycling options.
- We circulate quarterly newsletters with sustainability information and tips.
- We have created an internal page for swapping used things, such as child car seats, bicycles, cooking appliances, books, etc. reducing waste in any way possible.
- Final year students are organising litter picking events, green travel to work days and wild flower planting on the campus.
Not only does the SATH care about sustainability but so does the University of Liverpool as a whole and our own veterinary students. The University of Liverpool has a dedicated sustainability team and has launched its own ambitious sustainability strategy in 2021. Amongst other initiatives the University is introducing sustainability concepts in the curriculum in every degree including the veterinary one.
The Liverpool Veterinary Sustainability Society was created by our own students in 2020, aiming to introduce sustainable initiatives within the vet school and the local community working alongside the staff of all the veterinary hospitals at Leahurst.
If this is something that you feel strongly about too, we have some suggestions that may be useful to pet owners:
- Did you know you can recycle the blister packets for medication? All you have to do is save them up and take them to a SuperDrug store where there are collection points.
- You can also recycle pet food packaging.
- You can get reusable puppy pads for toilet training. We use them at the SATH with many patients and this has allowed us to significantly reduce our single use non-recyclable plastics!
- Consider using biodegradable or recycled cat litter and ensure dog’s poo bags are fully compostable (not just biodegradable).
- Look into eco-friendly toys, collars and pet beds – there are new options currently available!