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Climate Change

Climate change is happening now.  Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activities is the most significant driver of climate change.  Its impacts affect every country in the world and are challenging millions of people, especially the most vulnerable populations.

Immediate action is needed to maintain global temperature increase below 1.5  C per IPCC.


it's up to us

The AVMA subscribes to a One Health triad where "...the health of each is inextricably connected to  the others"

Those of us in the veterinary field followed our dreams in order to help animals.  In companion animal medicine, we help pet parents give their furry family the best life.  That healthy life depends on having a  healthy Earth to live on.


Pets    People    Planet 

- we're all connected!

people care

  • Nearly 70% of US families have 1 or more pet

  • Owners are spending more:  pets are living longer and are considered family members more than ever before

  • Sustainable companies are more productive

  • The 73 million US millennials want their employers to make a positive impact on society

Proven solutions

Similar models have been successful in other fields: 


Dogwood Consulting can help your clinic be more efficient and reach a broader audience.

Veterinary hospital stats

  • Unfortunately, vet hospitals use a lot of energy and most run "below optimal efficiency".

  • Vet hospitals produce a lot of waste.  Only 9% of all plastic ever created has been recycled.

  • Vet hospital employees struggle with burnout.

  • They face higher than average turnover (e.g., 21% in 2016 
    versus a national average of 12%  ).

  • There is often frustration, low employee morale, and an undercurrent of toxic culture in veterinary clinics. 

Dogwood Consulting empowers your clinic to "Do Better"

the face of a happy, smiling small beagle (Dna, pronounced Deena)) on the beach at Big Sur, CA 2006

"In a world of more than 7 billion people, each of us is a drop
in the bucket.  But with enough drops, we can fill any bucket." 

David Suzuki

Climate Chage Info

Climate change is happening now.

  • The global temperature is rising

  • Extreme weather events are happening more frequently (hurricanes, floods, wildfires, heat waves, droughts, and winter storms)

  • Sea-level is rising, glaciers are melting

  • Water-related illnesses are increasing

  • Vector-borne diseases are increasing

According to NASA, 97% of all climate scientists agree human activity is causing this climate crisis across the Earth.

The profile of this beautiful cat's face, Berr, show's that she is enjoying some supervised outside time.

Rising levels of greenhouse gases (GHG) in

the Earth's atmosphere cause climate change.​

Human activities are the primary cause of GHG emissions for last 150 years says IPCC

  • GHG act like a blanket, trapping the sun's warmth near the earth's surface and raising the temperature

  • Burning fossil fuels releases GHG into the atmosphere

    • The US burns fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation

    • In 2017, fossil fuels contributed about 75% of all US GHG emissions according to the US Energy Information Administration

    • The US has less than 5% of the world's total population, but consumes 17% of world's energy according to the University of Michigan's Center for Sustainable Systems

  • Global food production accounts for about 25% of the world's GHG emissions according to a 2018 study published in Science by Poore and Nemecek.

This handsome pup, Odie, has one ear perked and is diligently, enthusiastically listening to every word!

According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), immediate action is needed to limit warming of the global surface temperatures to 1.5  C and effects will last for centuries.

There are over 7.7 billion people on earth and
about 82 million people are born each year.

beautiful beach scene with blue water, white surf, sandy beach, and rolling green hills in background

Three countries produce over 50% of CO  emissions.

  • China produces 29%, US produces 16%, and India produces 7%

  • The other 192 countries produce 48% combined

  • The carbon emissions per person in the US is 16.2 metric tons, while China is 7.1t and India is 1.8t

  • In 2017, the global average was 4.8 metric tons per person (the US is over 3 times higher than the global average)

  • The world's largest per person CO  emitters are the major oil producing countries (most in the Middle East)


Countries that have high standards of living tend to have high carbon footprints.  However, many European countries have much lower emissions than the US according to the Global Change Data Lab.



Only 9% of plastic from 1950 to 2015 was recycled!

Plastic is part of the problem.

  • Nearly 99% of all plastic is made from oil, natural gas, and coal

  • Globally, about 300 million metric tons of plastic waste is produced each year

  • Half of all plastic is single-use:  created to be used only 1 time

  • Most plastic is non-degradable, it just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces that last hundreds of years

  • Microplastics end up on people's dinner plates and are found in the majority of the world's tap water

a cat happily rolling, stretching the grass; Clyde started out feral and is now the most lovable indoor-only lap cat ever!

"Rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society" are needed says the UN

individual actions
the personality of this Boston Terrier mix shines through as she enjoys a walk in Greenfield, IN; Josie's tongue is completely covering her nose and it's priceless!


At the poll and

with your dollar

Laptops use less energy than desktops

Most plastic ends up in landfills - only  9% is recycled

Your actions make a difference.

Do something:

  • Consume less energy (live in a smaller house, live closer to work, use public transportation instead of driving)

  • Increase the efficiency of your home (use a smart thermostat, insulate and seal leaks in windows and ducts, and use LED bulbs)

  • Choose to use renewable energy:  check with your electric company since many now offer the option to purchase renewable electricity

  • Change your eating habits (eat less meat and animal products, reduce food waste, and buy local and seasonal foods)

  • Swap out disposable plastic for reusable water bottles, travel mugs, canvas bags, metal or glass straws, bamboo utensils, etc

  • Fly less:  flights from US airports are responsible for about 25% of global flight-related emissions

Talk about it:

  • Invest in renewables and divest from fossil fuels (talk to your financial advisor about clean energy investments)

  • Start talking to family and friends about climate change

  • Make sure you vote for politicians that believe in climate change and understand its urgency



  1. McReynolds, T. (2019, November 7). AVMA on the economic state of the veterinary profession: It’s strong (but don’t get too cocky) [AAHA publications]. AAHA NEWStat.

  2. UN Environment Programme. (n.d.). Our planet is drowning in plastic pollution. Beat Plastic Pollution. Retrieved January 28, 2020, from

  3. Spickard, S. (2020, May 14). Veterinary Staff Turnover: Burnout, Benefits, and Breaking Points [The Art of Growing Your Veterinary Practice]. DVM Insider.

  4. Society for Human Resource Management, S. (2016). 2016 Human Capital Benchmarking Report (p. 29). SHRM, Society for Human Resource Management.

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