green dentistry policies

Green Dentistry is Here to Stay

Thanks to our own children, David Attenborough, COP26 and the efforts of the likes of my history teacher (patches on the elbows of his corduroy jacket, Greenpeace membership and Save The Whale car sticker) around 40 years ago, ‘saving the planet’ isn’t such a weird thing to believe in these days.

Expect to be pushed and pulled in all directions from various stakeholders by the need for you to be carbon neutral. You’re probably soon going to need to have some kind of practice environmental policy too, so that’s yet another expectation of the CQC for you to contend with. Yep, carbon neutrality is already hitting parts of dentistry and just like everywhere else there are those that are prepared, preparing, and denying. Ever since I first started exploring the concept of green dentistry in 2018, I have been ridiculed and accepted in equal amounts, but most recently the balance has begun to shift and perhaps you have also noticed that patients are now asking questions about the amount of waste, packaging and plastic used in their dental procedures.

It seems that the Covid headlines aren’t going to completely go away but neither is the green agenda and what if carbon neutrality is dominant in the minds of those you recruit and serve?

However important, some of the things we do in business seem to be optional, that is until we are forced to do them. For example, many of the supermarkets only did something about single use plastic bags when they had to, whereas some businesses have never had single use plastic bags because they chose not to. It’s the same with investing in electric vehicle technology and we will shortly see the same effect with the way that builders heat our new homes.

Dentistry is no exception to any of this. Saving the planet, sustainability, carbon neutrality, CSR, ESG or just good old ‘doing the right thing’, is and will have an impact on your dental business. Simply put, cost saving (if you’re doing it right), culture and talent, can and will benefit. Business history is littered with both failures and successes and has proven that big shifts in business are driven by changes in technology, the demands of societies and those that recognise opportunities.

There is a big shift in business right now. Prepared is great, preparing is good, but denying is death.

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