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Thirteen ways to make your practice more green

And so it seems that, in a world more focused on environmental issues than ever before, the Green party entered the European political arena as likely ‘kingmakers’.

With a surge that revealed its strongest ever showing yet – across Europe as well as in the UK – the result, so the political pundits say, gives the Green party every chance of having greater influence in this new dawn of politics as it benefits from a newly fragmented parliament.

A disenchanted electorate has possibly bolstered its popularity but it also suggests an increasing concern about climate change that has, according to one Netherlands Green MEP, Bas Eickhout: ‘Rocketed up people’s list of priorities’.

So, what has this got to do with the day-to-day life of the small business owner, such as the high street dentist, for example?

Eco-friendly dentistry
The dental industry is notorious for its large carbon footprint, with procedures often producing large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and the need for travel adding to the load. Administration, material and lab services all have impact, and so too the more obvious areas of energy and water usage and clinical waste disposal.

However, according to the Public Health England paper, Carbon modelling within dentistry: Towards a sustainable future, sustainability within dentistry is as much to do with delivering high quality care to reduce invasive treatments and repeat visits as it is remedying the above with cycle-to-work projects, an improved stock control strategy, renewable energy, efficiency audits and the all-important ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ principles.

An eco-friendly dental practice may also wish to consider some but not all of the following. Are the products it uses non-animal tested? Are they vegan friendly? How much of what you use is reusable? What is biodegradable and what can be recycled?

As healthcare practitioners, practice owners can sometimes feel torn between making the best (and safest) choices for their patients and balancing the books with savvy business decisions – but, ultimately, both ensure the sustainability of a dental business.

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