NationWide Laboratories entered the British Society of Veterinary Pathology (BSVP) Green Laboratory 2022-2023 competition with Water Awareness Project. As a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, our company’s main aim is to provide diagnostic services to veterinarians, in order to safeguard animal health and by extension, human health. The spread of many zoonoses may be prevented by adequate sanitation and access to clean water. We believe this essential resource should be used with care and efforts made to minimise waste.
Therefore, we decided to try to target the theme of “saving water and raising awareness of the importance of water and water saving” as the focus of our project.
The project consisted of two parts. Part one was to research and implement small changes regarding water use and measure their impact in our laboratory as well as encourage the teams to save water. Part two was to fundraise for the Toilet Twinning charity that provides sanitation and clean water in the developing world.
We installed commercially available devices (water displacement bags for toilet cisterns and tap aerators) to try and reduce water waste. We also conducted an internal campaign to raise awareness of the importance of water and things everyone can do to save it. We measured the water use via our water meter before and after the installation of devices in October 2022, and subsequently before and after an awareness campaign in March 2023.
Based on water meter readings, 69m3 of water was used the month preceding the installation of the water displacement bags (October-November 2022) and 66 cubic metres were used the month subsequent to the installation of the bags (November-December). This step was repeated before and after a newsletter raising awareness of water was circulated. The volume of water used the month before this (January-February 2023) was 66m3 and after was 62m3.
Via our cake sale in the laboratories and hamper raffle in our sister company NVS, together we raised £664 for the Toilet Twinning charity. We were able to be “twinned” with 3 toilets and 2 toilet blocks in 5 countries across 3 continents: Kabaya (Democratic Republic of Congo), Zembe (Mozambique), Macuelizo (Honduras), Twin Cox’s Bazaar (Bangladesh), and Ishishangolo (Tanzania). The money we raised went towards educational programmes in the developing world emphasising the importance of hygiene and sanitation and building latrines. We received the following message of thanks from Lorraine Kingsley, Toilet Twinning CEO: “Thank you for your donation. Your donation will enable our partners to work with local communities to build life-changing latrines.”
We were delighted to be notified that our entry won the first prize and overwhelmed with warm words from Lucy Oldroyd, BSVP Green Team spokesperson: “It was great to see the team make such an effort to go about this work and to enter the competition given how busy you are and how many other demands on your time exist. Congratulations and thank you for promoting sustainability in the profession.”