Environmental Sustainability at the Animal Clinic

The Animal Clinic is an industry leader in environmentally sustainable practices, striving to minimize the impact of veterinary medicine on the environment. In addition to our emission-free cargo bike delivery partnership with NRBI, we have instituted several programs over the past 15 years to reduce our impact on the planet. We have long been a “paper-lite” practice, with digital medical records for over 2 decades, and were one of the first private practices in Ontario to offer digital radiology, eliminating the need for developing chemicals.  We were also one of the first two practices in Ontario to source our electricity through Bullfrog Power, ensuring that all the energy we use is offset by an equal amount of green electricity being added back into the grid.  We recently underwent a retrofit through the Save On Energy Small Business program, replacing all our lightbulbs with LEDs and our thermostats with Smart Thermostats, reducing the amount of electricity we use by 20%!

In a world that seems to constantly be moving towards an ever-increasing number of disposable and single-use items, we have held on to our reusable products wherever practical, from cleaning equipment, cloths, and towels to sterilizable surgery gowns, drapes, and equipment, and from filtered water instead of bottled water to reusable cups and mugs for both staff and clients. At the beginning of the pandemic, The Animal Clinic began recycling the majority of our PPE, diverting it from the landfill, an initiative that we continue to this day.  We also recycle our office supplies, coffee pods, and paper (though we strive to be as paper-lite a practice as possible, some use of paper seems unavoidable).  We also encourage our staff to commute by environmentally friendly modes of transit, be it bike, transit, walking, or carpooling.

Dr. Richardson is the co-founder and chair of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association Environmental Sustainability Committee and has written articles and given lectures on environmental sustainability in veterinary medicine.  If you keep an eye out, you may well see him riding through the streets of Toronto 12 months a year on “Farley”, his cargo bike that replaced his car 3 years ago.