We began our sustainability journey with EcoMerit in 2022. A comprehensive review of our environmental performance and practices was followed by the creation of our very first improvement plan.
Every year we review progress on our plan and set ourselves new improvement actions. Real, measurable environmental action has never been more important, and we are determined to play our part in full. The above figures show our progress at the most recent review with EcoMerit.
Our initial review identified a wide range of improvement opportunities. We prioritised the ones we would implement first. These included setting up our Environmental Management System which allows us to monitor our performance and control our progress.
Our other early actions included:
- Replaced company diesel car with EV.
- Reduced drafts at windows and doors.
- Reviewed A/C control settings.
- Re-organised waste segregation system.
- Calculate our Homeworking emissions.
Our Carbon Footprint
One of our key performance measures is our carbon footprint. Our 2022 carbon footprint was calculated as 12.65 tonnes of CO2eq. We use this as our baseline year against which we will measure our progress in future years.
The chart below shows the composition of our 2022 carbon footprint.
The chart above includes two ‘Scope 3 value chain’ emissions including Homeworking (remote home office emissions) and Business travel via staff cars, as they have been identified as substantial and integral to our business activities. The chart also shows that business travel via staff cars and the company diesel car were responsible for the majority (69%) of our emissions. We expect this to be reduced from 2023 onwards as we have upgraded the company diesel vehicle with an Electric Vehicle.
We are also encouraging our XLVets members to assess and reduce their environmental impacts by becoming EcoMerit certified. We are delighted to announce that our member, Glasslyn Veterinary Clinic whose practices are based in Bandon, Kinsale and Dunmanway are the latest to have achieved an EcoMerit Certification in Ireland.
Bobby Lambert, Business Development Director EcoMerit, Geraldine Collins, vet at Glasslyn Veterinary Clinic, Mike Curran, Chief Executive XLVets Ireland, Kevin O’ Sullivan, Managing Director of Glasslyn Veterinary Clinic & Chair of XLVets Ireland, Caitriona O’Mahony, head groomer at Glasslyn Veterinary Clinic
The Journey Continues
We realise that environmental improvement is an ongoing journey rather than a quick fix. It is our responsibility to play our full part in averting the worst effects of the climate and bio-diversity crises.
XLVets Skillnet and XLVets Ireland in partnership with Skillnet Ireland and EcoMerit have carried out a comprehensive research project. The research report aims to provide veterinary professionals with the tools and knowledge needed to successfully integrate environmentally sustainable solutions into their day-to-day veterinary practices, and is an ideal starting point to address their skills and training needs in this area.
In the coming year we will
- Encourage more of our members to become EcoMerit certified.
- Review our purchasing policy to prioritise Eco-friendly alternatives, where possible.
- Review our travel policy to prioritise public transport options, where possible.
- Provide guidance for our staff in relation to Eco-driving practices.
Our longer-term ambitions include
- Encouraging our landlord to install PV solar on the rooftop of our office.
- De-carbonise our business activities in line with national and international commitments.
We are proud to be a member of the EcoMerit Community. Our partnership with EcoMerit helps guide us on our sustainability journey and gives us independent verification of our achievements to date.