London Vision Clinic Is On Its Way to Becoming Carbon Neutral

Thilini De Silva – Clinic Coordinator.

Here at the London Vision Clinic, we pride ourselves on being one of the best Laser Eye Surgery clinics in the world in terms of results, service and overall patient experience. However, thanks to the efforts of Clinic Coordinator Thilini De Silva, we can also take pride in something else that should be of huge importance to us all: our mission to become carbon neutral. The message to be environmentally friendly isn’t a new one, but a large amount of waste is unfortunately part of the reality of running a private medical clinic. However, wastage at the London Vision Clinic is dropping considerably now that Thilini is on the case – and she’s got a lot more up her sleeve.

I asked Thilini how bad the issue was. She informed me that “even if you just look at what our 40 staff members use every day. Roughly everyone drinks a canned drink which means that we consume a minimum of 40 cans a day just amongst staff! If we are open five days a week apart from eight public holidays that brings it to a total of 10,080 cans a year not recycled if we did not implement a recycling system.”

And it’s not just recycling Thilini wants to tackle: “If we switch off our computer monitor off at night we can save up to 750 lb. of CO2 (greenhouse gas emissions) by burning 450 fewer pounds of coal each year. (A 17” Dell monitor consumes the following watts:  84w active, 74w blank blue, 67w blank black, 69w screen-save, <0.1w when on standby)”. Well, I could make neither heads nor tails of some of that, but there’s no doubt that simple measures such as recycling waste and turning off power at the wall sockets can make a huge difference.

Thilini has always been an active recycler, but she has never taken on a project of this size before. When asked about what inspired her to take on such a huge project, she replied, “Most top companies are all getting on board with recycling and moving towards sustainability and I think LVC is definitely one of the best clinics in the world. When I first joined LVC, I noticed that the clinic’s recycling system was a bit inconsistent and a better implementation to facilitate recycling could be introduced by minimal changes.”

Thilini believes that increasing awareness amongst staff could lead to big changes, and she’s made information about recycling available to everyone who works here at LVC. Other changes that Thilini has made so far is implementing more recycling bins, both in patient areas and in staff only areas, replaced bottled water with a few glass jugs that can be filled with filtered water, and recycling other small items like coffee capsules.

However, the work is only just starting. In the future Thilini would like to tackle paper wastage and implement battery recycling stations. Additionally she is looking at total energy consumption to find areas where we can reduce emissions, and focusing on medical and surgery items that can be recycled. Her ultimate goal is to see the London Vision Clinic become completely carbon neutral.