Making Your Practice Greener

I thought I would write this blog in the face of Donald Dump’s… sorry I mean ‘Trump’s’decision to pull the mighty US of A out of the Paris Environmental Agreement in recent weeks.

There are various benefits to making your Practice greener and more environmentally friendly by reducing your carbon footprint. Firstly, you will make the planet that little bit greener, which is a good thing yes? Plus, thanks to the above mentioned world ‘leader,’ every little bit will not only help, but is now essential. Although you can’t necessarily measure how much you are reducing your carbon footprint generally (with the exception of SMART meters that display usage etc), it will bring a little joy to your soul knowing that you and your team are doing your bit and securing the future of our planet along with ensuring it remains habitable for generations to come. Plus, this can form an integral part of your Practices Corporate Social Responsibility strategy/policy. Not sold on this point yet? See next paragraph before you log off…

*YOU WILL SAVE MONEY.* Do I now have your full attention? Good. Taking this issue seriously and making a real effort to reduce your carbon footprint, will bring a reduction in your operating costs and quite a substantial one at that! The best thing about this issue, is that it is really easy to achieve and everyone in the team can make a positive impact. Some of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint are as follows:

1) Energy saving light bulbs throughout the Practice – they are cheap to buy and will obviously pay for themselves many times over,

2) Have laptops on reception and in the Practice office – this is easier if you use cloud based systems as you don’t need a PC or server. Laptop chargers can then be unplugged when the battery is full, therefore saving power,

3) Become as paperless as possible – this should involve utilising email correspondence as much as possible, letters are often a luxury and postage is not cheap as we all know! This will again be easier if you use cloud based systems such as Aerona, which allow you to easily scan documents etc into the system and send automatic and bespoke emails to your patients,

4) Power down at lunchtimes – surgery computers and lights off, decontamination room equipment powered down (where possible) and lights off. If you have an empty waiting room – switch as many lights of as possible. This literally takes seconds to do and will save you plenty of cash over the course of the year,

5) Switch EVERYTHING off overnight and when the Practice is closed for business. Lights, computers, music systems, card payment machine, decontamination equipment, chargers, microwaves, printers – anything that won’t be used, switch it off. This again takes only seconds and will (again) equal quite a saving over the course of a year,

6) Turn the heating down a notch – I’m not saying that you should freeze out your team and customers, but will anyone even notice if you reduce the thermostat from 20 degrees to 19? Also, if it’s hot, switch it off completely – big saving to be made on this one,

7) Solar panels – does your Practice have a roof? Then why not get a/some solar panel (‘s) fitted. If you have a large roof, you may even be able to erect enough solar panels to get you a decent ‘feed in tariff,’ which will not only save you shed loads on electric, it will also make you money! Google it…..

8) Recycle. We all know that literally everything our Practices take as deliveries is encased in seemingly endless amounts of cardboard, so recycle it. Pretty much everything can be recycled. Check your local council website for exactly what you can recycle, pop it in the green bin and hey presto – very little landfill!

9) Get buy in from the team – a great deal of people actively care about the environment and getting buy in when you explain the carbon footprint benefits should be fairly straight forward. Maybe even add a little incentive in, “If we reduce our utility bills by 10% in the next quarter, we’re having a team night out and meal – on the Practice!”

Just as an example – one Practice I’ve been involved with, who took this issue to task at the start of 2016. Their utilities bill in April 2016 was £453. In April 2017 it was £110, a reduction of £343 year on year! If you then extrapolate this across the entire year they would see a year on year saving of £4,116! WOW! This was entirely down to carbon footprint reduction within the Practice.

So all in all, doing this will be great for the planet & future generations, great for your Practice, great for your team and will have a positive impact on your bottom line? Win win right?

Take care everyone!

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