At the very heart of any sustainability policy is a focus on the core steps: reduce, reuse and recycle. However, there is one additional step that is sometimes overlooked but is key when it comes to sourcing sustainable products, and that is to rethink our use and choice of products in the first instance, ‘Is there a more sustainable choice?’ And the answer is usually yes!
What defines a sustainable product?
A sustainable product is one that is designed, produced, and used in a manner that minimises its negative impact on the environment, society, and economy throughout its entire life cycle.
This comprehensive approach encompasses every stage, from the extraction and use of raw materials, manufacturing processes, transportation, intended use, and ultimately its disposal or recycling.
Although no product can be entirely free from environmental impact, selecting the most sustainable option enables us to move towards a more responsible and eco-conscious way of providing care.
Key attributes to consider when looking for the most sustainable products:
- What is the product made from? Does it use recycled or renewable materials?
- What impact does its manufacture have on the environment? For example, the use of energy or water.
- Where is the product sourced or manufactured? How far does it have to travel to get to the end user?
- How is the product packaged? Is it minimal and using recyclable materials?
- What happens at the end of the product’s life? Can it be reused or re-purposed? Is it recyclable, biodegradable or compostable?
Searching for sustainable products
There has been a staggering 71% rise in global searches for sustainable goods over the past five years, according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), commissioned by WWF.
This ‘eco-wakening’ as the report describes it, is driving positive change and manufacturers and suppliers are having to be far more transparent about their practices or adopt new more sustainable ones. They’re also becoming more proactive when communicating the sustainability attributes of their products.
So, all of this means that there are increasingly more sustainable options on the market to choose from, which is fantastic, but the downside is that researching these products can be an incredibly time-consuming process.
Not to mention the added complication that you need to balance the sustainability of a product with its efficacy and the need to provide the best standard of care for your patients.
The solution? choose a wholesaler, such as NVS who aligns with your sustainability goals and then make the most of their buying expertise. Allowing you and your team to focus on what you do best, delivering exceptional animal care.
For more information on our sustainability initiatives and how NVS Group aim to deliver a greener pawprint, Click here to view our sustainability brochure.
This article was originally posted in The Cube magazine, October 2023 issue. Click here to read the magazine.
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