Episode 75

Published on:

3rd Apr 2024

Ep 75: Can Vet Heroes Get To Net Zeros? Sustainable Futures, with Dr. Jeremy Watson

Can Vet Heroes Get To Net Zeros? Sustainable Futures, with Dr. Jeremy Watson

About the Guest

Dr. Jeremy Watson completed his Bachelor of Veterinary Science with honours at the University of Melbourne in 1986. He established the Brimbank Vet Clinic in 1998, a small animal practice in suburban Melbourne. During 2011, the clinic was rebuilt incorporating the latest environmental design features, facilitating a pathway to make the practice carbon neutral.

In 2013, Dr. Watson achieved membership by examination to the Australian & New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in the discipline of small animal surgery.

Dr. Watson joined Vets for Climate Action in 2020 to help amplify the role that veterinary teams can play in motivating our community to take urgent action on climate change. Within this organisation, he has been working specifically on the Climate Care Program for Veterinary Practices.


Brimbank Veterinary Practice: https://www.brimbankvet.com.au/ 

Connect on LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/in/jeremy-watson-29243151 

Sustainable Clinic AVA Article: https://www.ava.com.au/digest/from-around-the-ava/2021/november/2/jeremy-watson/ 

Episode Description

In this episode of Blunt Dissection, we dive deep into the quest for net zero carbon emissions in veterinary medicine, guided by Dr. Jeremy Watson, a pioneer in the field of veterinary sustainability. Dr. Watson brings to light the crucial role of integrating business culture and strategic planning in veterinary practices to foster a conducive environment for sustainability efforts. He underscores the necessity for management's commitment to spearhead this journey, through strategic fund allocation, visionary leadership, and setting a clear direction for the practice's future. The absence of such unified leadership and vision, he warns, could hamper efforts to curb carbon emissions, depriving them of the essential support needed for success.

Dr. Watson further explores the power of collective action, emphasizing the importance of engaging with a broad spectrum of stakeholders - from manufacturers and distributors to equipment makers, end-users, and disposal services. He illustrates how such collaborations can effectively tackle challenges and pave the way for adopting more sustainable practices across the board. For example, the adoption of sustainable anesthesia practices, such as low-flow anesthesia or total intravenous anesthesia, achieved through the concerted efforts of anesthesiologists, equipment manufacturers, and veterinary nurses.

Highlighting the difficult pathway to achieving net zero carbon emissions, Dr. Watson discusses the importance of setting clear, achievable targets. He references the science-based target initiative, advocating for the establishment of intermediate goals over the next 5 to 10 years, with the ultimate objective of reaching net zero by 2050. These targets, he argues, serve as critical milestones, guiding veterinary practices towards systematically reducing their carbon footprint.

In summary, this episode of Blunt Dissection underscores the indispensable role of strategic alignment among practice management, industry partners, and professional organizations in embedding sustainable practices within veterinary medicine. Through collective efforts and clear goal-setting, veterinary practices are well-positioned to make significant strides towards a sustainable, net zero future.

Join us as we navigate the intricacies of sustainability in veterinary practices, illuminated by Dr. Jeremy Watson's pioneering insights and strategic guidance.

Episode Outline

  • [00:03:59] Net Zero Carbon Emissions in Vet Practice.
  • [00:04:50] Australia on climate change impact.
  • [00:10:18] Carbon Neutral Journey
  • [00:14:14] Pet's cremation and alternatives.
  • [00:15:46] Labeling and Climate Change Denial.
  • [00:19:04] Climate change evidence over time.
  • [00:23:37] Climate change implications discussed.
  • [00:25:27] Impact on animal health.
  • [00:34:50] The path to net zero.
  • [00:38:33] Alignment of business culture.
  • [00:42:12] Anesthesia and carbon emissions.
  • [00:45:22] Setting sustainability targets.
  • [00:50:46] Carbon neutral veterinary practice.
  • [01:02:24] Changing paper to iPads.
  • [01:08:41] Easy ways to reduce emissions.

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About the Podcast

Blunt Dissection
The best minds in veterinary medicine, academia & business profiled so you can learn from their experience.
The Blunt Dissection Podcast exists because everyone has a story worth listening to. It's the original and best interview podcast in veterinary medicine where the best minds in the various subcultures of veterinary medicine (and sometimes outside) are profiled/deconstructed so you can listen to their remarkable stories, and also learn the habits, routines, thought processes and anything else that makes these individuals so good at what they do.

What’s in it for you to listen? For some, it's entertainment, for others the show offers inspiration. My hope is that once you’ve seen the pathway to success all you have to do is follow the breadcrumbs. Simple right? So what are you waiting for? Let's jump in and get to know some amazing people better. :)

Sometimes funny, sometimes dark but always entertaining - welcome to the hidden world of veterinary success.

Your host is Dr Dave Nicol, a veterinarian, occasional CEO, multiple time author, international speaker and mentor/coach to countless vets, nurses and managers in veterinary leadership roles across the world through VetX International.

About your host

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Dave Nicol