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IVC Evidensia publishes first sustainability report

"Positive Pawprint" strategy aims to underpin IVC Evidensia’s rapid international growth as the company focuses on becoming the best veterinary group for the world

IVC Evidensia, one of the world’s leading veterinary care providers, recently published its first sustainability report as part of its “Positive Pawprint” strategy. The strategy aims to protect the health and happiness of people and their pets, whilst reducing the group’s environmental impact, to promote a cleaner and more sustainable environment.

The Positive Pawprint strategy is a powerful statement of IVC Evidensia’s belief in setting and sharing new standards of sustainability in animal health. This strategy is based on three pillars: People, Planet and Pets, with stretching targets set across all IVC Evidensia operations from individual clinics and hospitals to crematoria and central teams, and a commitment to report against those targets.

Targets include:

People

  • Women in 50 percent of leadership positions by 2025
  • Fund 50 vet and 15 nurse scholars from ethnically diverse backgrounds by 2025
  • Establish wellbeing programmes in all markets by 2023

Planet

  • At least 85 percent of energy from renewable sources by December 2023
  • Zero waste to landfill in key markets

Pets

  • Use IVC Evidensia Care Fund to subsidise treatment for 1500 animals in need every year by 2025
  • Reduce antibiotic prescriptions to 5 percent of outpatient consultations by 2030
  • Ensure that 50 percent of clinics have species specific waiting rooms

Key achievements during 2021 include:

People

  • Built a network of almost 400 Wellbeing Champions and Mental Health First Aiders across support and clinic teams
  • Launched the Ethnic Diversity Scholarship Scheme for students to promote a more inclusive industry
  • Supported our teams to excel in their fields and in their careers, with almost 30,000 delegate days in the IVC Academy since 2017

Planet

  • Largest markets all use electricity from renewable sources
  • Eliminated over 700,000 vehicles miles and saved over 220 tonnes of CO2 by working with our UK wholesaler to reduce delivery frequencies

Pets

  • Established the Care Fund, a European first in the veterinary sector, which supports clients and veterinary teams experiencing financial difficulties and has saved almost 900 animal lives
  • Launched the IVC Evidensia Research Fund to encourage and support innovation
  • Appointed a Group Animal Welfare Advisor to oversee the wellbeing of animals across the group
  • Launched the Non-Accidental Injury programme to help identify and deal with cases of animal abuse

As part of the development of the sustainability strategy, IVC Evidensia has looked at best practice to identify material topics and indicators across key and relevant frameworks, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards. Many aspects of the strategy are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and this is referenced in the Report.

Chief Operating Officer Russell Trenter has accountability for sustainability issues at Executive Board level and Group Chief Executive, Stephen Clarke, has overall accountability for sustainability on the Group Board. The Board has been engaged throughout the development of the Positive Pawprint strategy, with progress led by our Positive Pawprint Steering Committee.

Russell Trenter, COO of IVC Evidensia, said: “For an innovative, entrepreneurial company like ours, transforming how we do things to embed sustainability is an exciting challenge. It may not be easy, and we do not have all the answers yet. But it will force us to think differently, and to innovate. Of course, many excellent activities are already happening at a local level across the company and we are keen to build on this. We understand the power we have when we come together along with the benefits of sharing the knowledge and learnings we gain in one location, with the rest of the group. Moreover it will add value, respond to client, employee and investor needs, and support efficiencies in our business. “

Steve Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of IVC Evidensia, said:  “The Positive Pawprint means caring for people, planet and pets, while growing our company as a force for good. We believe it is our responsibility to set and share new standards of sustainability in animal health. This not only responds to the interests of our customers and teams, but also to wider public and investor concerns around areas such as climate change, diversity and wellbeing. In this past year, as well as setting the new strategy, we have made positive moves in areas such as animal welfare and wellbeing, appointing a Group Animal Welfare Advisor to oversee the wellbeing of animals across the group. We launched our Non-Accidental Injury programme to help identify and deal with cases of animal abuse. In addition we established our Care Fund, a European first in the veterinary sector, which supports clients and veterinary teams experiencing difficult and stressful circumstances. With the additional challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, we increased our focus on employee wellbeing, identifying and training mental health first aiders. Our IVC Evidensia Academy continued to run professional and development training. We also launched an Ethnic Diversity Scholarship Scheme for students, to pave the way for a more diverse veterinary sector of the future.”

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