Sustainability in the Medical Field

Veterinary Specialty Center

4. Quality Education 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 10. Reduced Inequalities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

Veterinary Specialty Center (VSC) in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, is the first veterinary hospital in the United States to become a Certified B Corporation, meaning it is a pioneer of sustainable development in its field. Even in a field that could accumulate a lot of waste due to the inability to reuse certain medical supplies, VSC still finds ways to cut back on waste. The company also makes sure to create an environment that is supportive of workers and the community.

Author

John Loxas

John Loxas

School

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

Professor

Nancy Landrum

Nancy Landrum

Innovation

The VSC culture serves as the biggest example of its sustainability. The company has created an environment where everyone can be accepted and accepting of others. VCS has different tools to assist in sustaining this culture, such as a strong Human Resources department, sensitivity training, and a licensed professional counselor onsite. These tools help create an environment where people could feel like they are treated equally regardless of who they are. VCS also makes sure that every employee is paid a living wage, and if the company’s profit goal is exceeded the extra profits are shared equally among employees. The people at Veterinary Specialty Center want to be an inspiration to others and remind everyone, including themselves, there is always room for improvement. One way VCS encourages others to be better is through hosting continuing education events to help other professionals develop their skills. VCS hosts the largest, no-cost registration, annual education event for veterinarians and technicians in the Chicago area. At this educational event, many topics are covered, such as being a leader of a team or the business side of running a veterinary center. By hosting this educational event, VSC gives people the opportunity to learn about their field and help make the future more sustainable. Events such as this one and other fundraising events are catered by local businesses, which reflects how VSC is actively involved in supporting the community. VSC innovates within its field by being a first adopter. The company invests heavily in the best imaging equipment and was the first vet office in Illinois to offer immunotherapy. Other innovations include offering thermography, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, and Acoustic Compression Therapy. VSC also adopted practices to be more environmentally sustainable in a field that is typically not known for sustainability, such as switching all lights to LEDs, utilizing composting when available, and purchasing energy from renewable sources.

Sustainability in the Medical Field

Inspiration

The idea to become sustainable came from the owners, a husband and wife team who were always environmentally conscious. It was their idea to make a more sustainable veterinary center. Their enthusiasm made everyone in the business jump on board and it felt like a very natural progression for the business.

Overall impact

The main impact of VSC is on the community and local economy, workers and the environment. VSC has a large impact on local businesses and the local economy. Events are catered by small local businesses and fundraisers are held for local organizations. Employees could even have fundraisers for non-profits and VSC will match the total donations, thus doubling the funds raised. Workers are positively impacted by the culture of innovation and inclusion and the company goal to make sure everyone is paid a living wage. VSC also has a significant impact on the environment. The company's efforts to make an environmentally sustainable medical center show how it is possible to be sustainable in an industry that typically produces a lot of waste. Much of this waste is reduced by utilizing composting, LED lights, and renewable energy. VSC has a strong, positive impact on the environment and surrounding businesses.

Business benefit

The culture and innovative mindset at VSC have led to the company being first adopters of different ideas which have improved its reputation as one of the finest companies in its field. The employees’ well-being has improved due to the company culture. The continuing education events, focus on investing in people, and profit-sharing program helps attract, create, and retain better employees.

Social and environmental benefit

VSC serves as an example of what a more socially and environmentally sustainable world could be. The company makes sure that all the employees can feel like they are treated equally and can make a living wage. By using composting and renewable energy, the company cuts back on the waste it produces and reduces its carbon emissions. VSC sets an example for other vets and could be a role model for other medical fields as well.

Interview

Jayme Richardson, DVM, MBA, Project Manager

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Veterinary Specialty Center

Veterinary Specialty Center

Buffalo Grove, Illinois, US

Business Website: https://www.vetspecialty.com

Year Founded: 1976

Number of Employees: 201 to 500

Veterinary Specialty Center is a Certified B Corporation that provides health care services for animals. The company provides a variety of state-of-the-art services while also promoting sustainable initiatives.