Have you completed your assessment?
The reason for you taking time to do an assessment is so that you are aware of where you can build and develop your own strategy that your clinic can embrace. A Sustainability Module template will be sent to you when your questionnaire is completed. This is so you can monitor your progress as part of your processes in your operations manual.
I don't know what I don't know!
This is a new topic to most of us. We have taken our time to garner expertise in each educational subject. It is not opinion based and it is not overbearing. It is simply a step-by-step guide to help you start your journey and to maintain sustainability. You can decide to take small steps, slowly, or you may want to get your sustainability commitments up and running as quickly as possible. Either way, you can tap into our resource provided by other dentists and external experts. This is supported by discussion groups on our social media channels.
Our Travel module looks at engaging with active travel and encourages the entire team to give a mile a day. If you live too far away from work to reasonably walk/cycle to and from, then why not park your car a mile away from the clinic so that you can walk a mile before and after work?
We also look at holidays and air travel and the huge value of installing charging points at work for staff and patients.
We all love to work in a clinic with the latest tech, right? But what do we do with the equipment we are replacing? Try to resell it? Throw it in a skip? Give it as a charitable gift to the nearest dental school?
In this section, we look at everything we use around the clinic with a view to building movement away from single-use plastics and looking at how some treatment processes could be easily altered to effect a less polluted environment.
Energy bills seem to only ever go up, but is there a realistic way of reducing them?
We can all grumble about switching a light off when a room is not in use, but are we all doing this for the right reason? Are we doing this to save money? In this case, only the bill payer will be interested in hitting that switch. Are we going it to use less energy because that is good for the environment? Everyone has the well being of our planet at heart and are more likely to switch off the light when engaged with this initiative.
We also have a look at the types of energy we buy, such as eco energy, green energy, etc. How do we know that our energy suppliers have the credentials to supply friendly energy?
How do we move from fossil fuel heating to electrical heating without having to pay premium prices? How do we generate our own power?
This is where we are perhaps the most aware of. We can stand outside the clinic after a busy day and see the volume of waste generated. How much of that is toxic? How much of that is single-use plastic? How much of that pile of waste could be avoided?
We could then think of the journey or coloured bags are about to embark on. Some will go to landfill, some will go to our local disposal units, and some may even be exported to foreign lands who will hide our waste for us. Do we question the disposal journey, or simply walk away? How deep does your ops manual set out your waste management processes?
When you go out for a walk, where do you choose to go? Perhaps some parkland, out on the hills or down to the beach? These options all have their own beauty, and they all exude fresh, clean air.
What can we do to bring those elements into our working life and slightly alter the way we look at our daily environment? This is where biodiversity fits in.
As an extension to your Assessment Report, we will send you a Sustainability Manual template for you to build your own Sustainability Module in your Operations Manual. Yes, this is the future and should not have a major impact on daily routines. Indeed, it is more likely that this section of your Ops Manual is the area that is widely embraced throughout the clinic, with pleasure and with a team-building spirit. Let your patients know what you are doing and let them get involved in your journey towards net zero dentistry.