Did you know that the average vet visit uses enough electricity to power more than 600 smartphones?
When we consider that nearly 11 million new pets were welcomed into U.S. households in 2020, the need for sustainability in pet ownership is more vital than ever.
We recognize the expectation from our clients and Associates that Mars Veterinary Health (MVH) works to create a viable future for people and pets and as a result, we will be adopting 100% renewable electricity in our U.S. veterinary hospitals, which account for 20% of the entire electricity footprint for Mars in the U.S. This means MVH skyrockets from 1.6% of our electricity being renewable to 100% – a significant step on our sustainability journey.
To supply our hospitals with renewable electricity, Mars signed a power-purchase agreement with Apex Clean Energy that will enable construction of a wind farm in Ford Ridge, IL. This agreement will provide clean electricity for our more than 2,000 veterinary hospitals across the nation. The turbines at Ford Ridge will generate enough electricity in one minute to power 36 veterinary visits and reduce CO2 by 11 pounds with each appointment. The benefits are meaningful for the local community too; we’re helping to create nearly 250 full-time-equivalent jobs and bring in more than $36 million in new revenue to local governments over the next 30 years.
Our aim is to advance the veterinary profession for the health and wellbeing of people, pets and the planet, and our commitment is not limited to renewable energy. We’ve developed a sustainability roadmap that includes addressing a range of sustainability issues, such as climate change, waste, and responsible pharmaceutical stewardship. To build the roadmap, leaders from across MVH’s veterinary practices, including AniCura, Banfield, BluePearl, Linnaeus, and VCA, came together to develop the plan.
“When considering which environmentally-focused topics to address, we selected areas of high importance to the planet, such as waste reduction and renewable energy use,” said Dr. Ben O’Kelley, Regional Vice President of medicine at BluePearl. “We then chose to focus on areas in which we believe significant opportunities exist to successfully achieve impactful change within the next five years.”
This drive is all part of the Mars $1 billion Sustainable in a Generation Plan, aimed at reducing the company’s total environmental impact in line with what science says is necessary to keep the planet healthy. Being part of Mars enables us to take immediate climate action and make a significant impact, far beyond the walls of our veterinary hospitals.
“The fact that MVH is making sustainability a core focus and priority of its business is extremely notable and will help lead the entire profession forward in terms of incorporating sustainability as a pillar of business success,” said Dr. Craig Mosley, national medical director of specialty medicine at VCA Canada. “We’re an innovator and model for wider adoption of sustainability principles within our profession. I really couldn’t be more excited to see the importance of sustainability being promoted by MVH.”
Our pets help us forge a link to the wider world. They help us relate to our planet in a different way and we have a responsibility to create a sustainable future for those we love, human and animal. We want our clients to know that by bringing their pets to an MVH practice, not only are they getting the best care possible for their pets, but they are also making a positive impact on the environment.
We look forward to sharing more about our sustainability roadmap and initiatives in the coming months, and we’re proud of the steps already taken within the global MVH family of practices to approach veterinary care in a more sustainable way. You can read more about this story here.