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At Southfort Veterinary Clinic we believe in taking care of all living things - including our environment. In order to help maintain an environmentally conscious business, we have taken a few steps to improve our sustainability and decrease our environmental impact while still maintaining gold-standard care.
Southfort Veterinary Clinic runs on a paperless computer system that allows us to minimize waste and keep all records together and updated at every station for our team. Not only does it help cut down on paper use, but it also ensures that your records are more secure and there is no chance of the records being misplaced. Not only are the records backed up should an emergency happen, but they are also more inclusive and precise - not to mention the trees we can save!
In order to reduce the amount of water that is wasted during simple tasks like washing your hands or cleaning, we have installed motion sensor taps that are not only a huge help to reduce wasted water, but also to help us keep things even more sterile. By not having to touch the taps to turn them on all the time, we are able to help minimize the spread of disease even further. After all, turning the tap on with dirty hands and then turning them off again doesn't keep those freshly washed hands clean for long.
As many of our clients know, we receive special order requests and supply requirements daily. In order to reduce the number of trips our supplier has to make, we have limited ourselves to sending out orders twice weekly so that we can help decrease our carbon footprint when it comes to transporting our stock.
As you already know, we receive orders from our supplier a few times a week. We have partnered with an environmentally conscious distributor that supplies products in boxes that are not only made of recycled materials but also can be recycled again. We also recycle all packing materials that come with our products.
Due to sterility there can be some challenge to 'reusing' items, but we do make an effort in 2 main ways to reuse what we can.
First, we purchase items with rechargeable batteries so that we can continue to reuse some diagnostic and monitoring items daily without having to throw out batteries regularly. A rechargeable battery can be reused up to 1000 times before it needs replacing. These batteries are then taken to a recycling facility where they can be broken down and almost all of the battery components are either recycled or reused.
Second, we wash and sterilize as much as we can so that we can reuse items without having to discard them each time. All of our towels and bedding materials get washed with highly concentrated cleaners and our instruments are hand scrubbed 3 times, inspected at least twice, and then autoclaved and sterilized. We also hand wash and autoclave oral syringes for reuse to prevent the waste of non-recyclable plastic and still ensure complete sterilization for our patients.
Our office is purposely designed to allow a large amount of natural light into the waiting room to reduce the number of lights we need on during daylight hours. You also may have noticed that throughout all of our environmental efforts we keep a lot of focus on how to maximize patient safety. As part of these dual-purpose protocols, we ensure that all exam room lights are turned off when a room is not in use. We also ensure that the light is left on until the room has been completely disinfected and is prepared for the next patient. This way, we are able to decrease the amount of energy that is lost and provide a double check for patient safety.
Another easy way we maximize our energy efficiency here at Southfort Vet Clinic is to shut down computer systems at the end of the night and turn off monitors, place lab equipment on standby, etc. Essentially we do anything we can to prevent energy from being wasted when the clinic is not in use.