Westover Vets: Sustainability in Large Animal Practice
Westover Vets Large Animal Practice are an independent vet owned and run group providing veterinary care to small and large animals across four sites in Norfolk. Their mixed large equine and farm animal practice, based at Hainford, currently comprises 8 vets, 3 nurses and 5 auxiliary staff. Westover Vets joined the iiE scheme in early 2021 to improve the sustainability of their work and make a positive impact on the world around them.
Through the scheme Westover Vets have put in place an Environmental Policy, with a commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2035. As part of this they have begun accurate recording of resource use for electricity, heating oil and water; looked at waste production and van fleet mileage; and developed an action plan to reduce the impact of operations. As a result of these actions the Westover Vets team successfully achieved iiE Silver accreditation in June 2021.
Despite having a practice ‘Green Group’ before joining iiE, they found the iiE certification process provided a helpful framework to clearly set out achievable goals and enable them to focus their efforts to achieve the biggest gains. In addition to general resource use the practice expanded the scope of the scheme with additional projects looking at antibiotic/anthelmintic use and biodiversity. They performed an audit of their antibiotic use for the current year and were very pleased to see that their use of critically important antibiotics for horses had reduced to zero.
The team also joined the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, a government scheme to encourage land managers to look after and improve the environment. Westover are very fortunate to have some land around the large animal practice. They have set about converting which was previously a mix of grazing and arable land to a system specifically designed to encourage biodiversity. The larger fields have been planted with wildflower and winter bird food mixes, they have created a number of ponds, planted hedgerows and will be planting new woodland later in the year. The team have begun monitoring the wildlife present on the land and are looking forward to seeing this develop.
“Sustainability is about more than switching the lights off and saving water. It encompasses everything we do as vets, from antibiotic resistance to biodiversity on the land we and our clients manage. At Westover, we have tried to take this all-encompassing approach, and are very excited to see the results unfold over the coming years” said Callum Haseler, Veterinary Surgeon. “We are now looking at ways in which we can make our practice infrastructure more sustainable and have been investigating replacing our current oil-powered heating with air-source heat pumps, as well as looking to install electric chargers in the not-too-distant future!”
“We were delighted to see our efforts rewarded with Silver level iiE accreditation in June 2021 and will be going for Green next year!”
For more information contact: Ben Crowter, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 01603 899930