Southfields Veterinary Specialists, in Essex, has launched a number of sustainability initiatives

One of the UK’s leading referral veterinary centres has launched a comprehensive eco-friendly campaign to cut emissions and reduce its carbon footprint.

The Linnaeus-owned Southfields Veterinary Specialists, in Essex, has introduced a wide range of energy-saving and environmental measures, along with creating its own ‘Green Team’ of staff members to drive the initiative forwards.

Southfields’ hospital director Daniel Hogan said the ambitious scheme would impact on all areas of the renowned veterinary centre, with a host of measures set to be incorporated into the ongoing construction of Southfields’ new £16 million state-of-the-art hospital which is set to open its doors in Basildon in 2022.

Daniel said: “We’ve set up our own Green Team of 10 colleagues, led by senior night nurse Sana Chaudhry, to focus on implementing the new measures and also identify further steps we can take in the future.

“The immediate aim is to gain an Investors in the Environment (iiE) Bronze award, which will be a significant first step. However, we are looking to then go on and achieve the iiE Silver award and, finally, the ultimate recognition, the iiE’s prestigious Green award as soon as we possibly can.”

Green Team lead, Sana, said: “We are all very serious about acting decisively and effectively to transform the way we work at Southfields to cut waste, save energy and dramatically reduce our environmental impact.”

Southfields is already taking part in the Linnaeus-wide ‘Paws to turn off’ campaign, which encourages practices to turn off unnecessary lights and air conditioning, with the aim of cutting down its annual electricity consumption by 14 per cent.

Operations manager Sarah Stam said there are a host of other actions that will help boost Southfields’ green credentials, including some large-scale changes, as well as some smaller projects.

Sarah explained: “We are closely examining all of our customs and practices at Southfields and seeking ways to cut waste, cut emissions and, in turn, cut costs.

“One key change is that we have switched to low-flow anaesthesia for all procedures as this uses fewer anaesthetic agents than conventional systems, emits less gas into the atmosphere, and improves the flow dynamics of the inhaled air.

“It is not just a change in the way we work, though. We have placed pollinator-friendly planters outside the hospital, with ‘bee baths’ within them, and we have created a wildflower garden.

“We have also installed bike racks to encourage staff to leave their cars at home and cycle to work instead, while Southfields has also agreed to sponsor the Essex Wildlife Trust, which is committed to protecting wildlife and promoting respect and care for nature.

“Major, large-scale energy-saving measures have been incorporated into our new hospital, which will make the building, and our procedures, more sustainable and eco-friendly.

“Our new building has solar panels, air source heating, LED lighting, water-saving features and a heating management system that will automatically reduce the temperatures in unoccupied rooms.

“It is sustainable development too as we are re-purposing an old building rather than constructing something brand new, which means no new foundations or steelworks, both measures which dramatically increase your carbon footprint.

“The new hospital also has a high-performance insulated roof and skylights which will help deliver a much more energy-efficient and sustainable future at Southfields.”

Southfields new, purpose-built, state of the art hospital will open in 2022.