Save the planet, improve your business


  Posted by: Dental Design      9th May 2020

It’s no longer just huge, multi-national corporations that need to be more accountable and make changes to reduce their impact on the environment – it’s everyone. That includes every dental practice, too! Maybe you don’t commandeer a fleet of cars to get your associates to work, but by reviewing your operating procedures to ensure they’re in line with these modern and relevant concerns, your business will will reap enormous rewards. 

Before we get to financial benefits – and there are lots! – a commitment to being an environmentally responsible practice will be rewarding in other ways. It can strengthen relationships within the dental team and help you forge connections with other companies, organisations and groups in your area. Taking part in local environmental initiatives (cycle schemes, clean-ups of public spaces) is not only fun, but creates a positive workplace culture. Positioning your practice as caring and community-spirited will enhance your brand and generate buzz for your services.

As for other benefits, there are areas to look at that will not only boost your environmental credentials, but will improve efficiency and save you money – a win/win!

It’s all about the energy

In your practice, do you need to reduce or replace any fossil-fuel heating for something ‘cleaner’? Would solar panelling be a viable investment? At the other end of the scale, set practical, everyday rules to change habits. Switch to energy-efficient lighting if you haven’t done so and be strict about turning them off when they’re not in use. High-quality LED lamps can make a working environment look better as well as a brighter. Shut down all tech at the end of the day and maintain equipment and appliances to ensure they are working properly, at their optimum efficiency setting. If you use a ventilation/air-conditioning system, you must consider its efficiency rating and whether there is an alternative.

Rethink waste

Your recycling protocols should be set in stone, with a fool-proof system for knowing what can be recycled or reused. There are a lot of single-use plastics in a dental practice, which are not only unfriendly to the environment, but not particularly good value either. Switching to paper from plastic cups is an obvious example; autoclavable reusable impression trays are a less-wasteful alternative to single-use trays.  

Go paperless! I have previously covered the benefits of going paperless. From a dental practice’s perspective, it’s more efficient, saves space and is more secure. Cloud-based accounting can revolutionise a business; information is accessible at the touch of a button and can be easily shared. A paperless practice will be saving money as well as reducing its waste. There are some fantastic, good-value options on the market that will change the way you work for the better. Lansdell & Rose offers its dental clients a cloud-based accounting solution as part of its accountancy and tax-planning package.

Check suppliers, check travel  

Research environmentally-conscious supplier(s) that could offer good deals on more ethical options. When it comes to travel, encourage car-sharing – incentivise if you need to! Use filesharing software and video conferencing that avoids having to drive to meetings. When it comes to your team’s learning and development, online learning and webinars are of increasingly high quality as well as offering flexibility.

In 2020, every dental practice should be thinking about its impact on the environment and how it can make positive changes. These changes can add genuine value to your business, not just from an environmental point of view, but to your profitability too. Be a leader – not only for your team, but in your community. A successful, thriving practice can also be a responsible one.


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