Linnaeus continues sustainability mission with nitrous oxide landmark - Veterinary Practice
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Linnaeus continues sustainability mission with nitrous oxide landmark

Group is celebrating hitting its ambitious target to eliminate the use of nitrous oxide as an anaesthetic gas from all of its practices

Leading veterinary services provider Linnaeus is celebrating hitting its ambitious target to eliminate the use of nitrous oxide as an anaesthetic gas from all of its practices.

The group, which is part of Mars Veterinary Health, launched its No Need for Nitrous campaign last year with the aim of removing the use of nitrous oxide as an anaesthetic agent from all 60 of its primary care practices and 16 specialist-led referral hospitals across the UK and Ireland.

Now, less than a year after the campaign’s launch, Linnaeus has confirmed it has successfully eradicated the use of nitrous oxide as an anaesthetic from all of its practices due to its impact as a greenhouse gas.

Nitrous oxide has 310 times more global warming potential over 100 years (GWP100) than carbon dioxide, and persists in the atmosphere for over 100 years as well as strongly depleting ozone in the atmosphere. Indeed, nitrous oxide was one of six main greenhouse gasses named as targets to reduce as part of the United Nations’ Kyoto Protocol.

Linnaeus, which also signed up to a unique partnership with Investors in the Environment (iiE) last year, provided training and support led by its RCVS specialists in veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia in referral centres to help primary care teams across the country remove the gas safely and in a stress-free manner, while improving the quality of care for their patients by providing advice on anaesthesia and analgesia protocols.

Primary Care Nurse Professional Development Manager Claire Roberts said: “This was a great opportunity for the central VN team to support the success of a wider group project.

“It was extremely rewarding to be able to help facilitate the educational benefits of this project across our clinical teams, which gave them the confidence to move away from using nitrous oxide and also helped build relationships and connection with their referral colleagues who are keen to provide ongoing anaesthesia advice to our primary care teams as required.”

The removal of nitrous oxide from the Linnaeus operational carbon footprint represents removing around 192 tonnes CO2e of carbon emissions in 2020, which is equivalent to driving nearly 700,000 miles in an average UK car.

Ellie West, environmental sustainability lead at Linnaeus, said: “The No Need for Nitrous campaign is an important cornerstone of our commitment to reducing our environmental impacts.

“By eliminating nitrous oxide from use as an anaesthetic agent within Linnaeus practices, we are removing an extremely persistent and potent greenhouse gas and, instead, upgrading to safe and effective alternatives to provide a better quality of care to our pets and our planet.”

The total removal of nitrous oxide from practices within Linnaeus is yet another signal of intent from the group as it leads the veterinary industry in placing sustainability at the top of its agenda.

A number of Linnaeus practices have already launched green initiatives internally, including Davies Veterinary Specialists, which has achieved Green level iiE accreditation, and Cave and North Downs Specialist Referrals, which have achieved Silver level.

Ellie said: “With environmental sustainability in veterinary practice, our future is in our hands. We can all do our bit by supporting good governance, educating our colleagues and clients and thinking about how we can change the way we practice, such as implementing lower-carbon anaesthesia.

“Linnaeus has a strong focus on quality of care and this extends to being a sustainable business and fulfilling our commitments to our clients, associates and communities.”

For more information on Linnaeus, which has veterinary practices across the UK and Ireland, visit the group’s website or search for Linnaeus on social media.

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