Volume 10 • 2023 • Issue 1

our carbon footprint by 83%,” says Andersen. “And we just had to make a phone call to our local utility and made the switch to their renewable energy option.” For the 4,000+ square foot practice, the switch to renewable energy costs an additional $1,200 a year. “We were very happy that a 83% reduction cost relatively so little. We put a sign up at our front desk that said, ‘Your care powered by the sun and wind.’” Andersen says that if a local utility doesn’t offer a renewable option, then renewable energy credits might be a good alternative. Southeastern US. “Landowners who have marginal farmland that would otherwise be unused and empty, they plant hundreds of trees per acre, and those trees pull carbon out of the atmosphere,” he says. “I get excited thinking about how in a few years, those trees will create a brand new ecosystem filled with birds and insects. Forests are also great filters of toxic materials, such as pesticides and fertilizers, that can harm rivers. There are so many ecological benefits.” Staff commuting to the dental practice by car contributed significantly the office’s carbon footprint, so the group decided to offer a small daily subsidy to employees who chose alternative transportation. “Now some of our colleagues bike, carpool or drive electric vehicles to work,” he says. Andersen has also looked for suppliers that offer carbon neutral shipping. He also talked to his long-time dental suppliers and made efforts to have fewer, larger shipments that saved on transportation costs and emissions. Their next big goal was to become carbon neutral. “We hired a consultancy company to measure our various emissions, and then to give us an aggregate measure of our carbon utilization,” he says. To measure the carbon use of the practice, Andersen shared information about which products the practice purchases, how much of each product and where the manufacturers are located. He also shared information about how the practice was heated and cooled, along with electricity and water use. The process also required gathering information about any travel for continuing education and employee commutes. “In fact, I remember them calculating the carbon footprint associated with items such as small gauze pads!” Andersen says. Once the practice knew how much carbon it was releasing each year, it could calculate how much it would need to spend to offset that amount. With help from the consultancy, Andersen considered several carbon-offsetting providers and decided to buy carbon credits from a company in the Dr. Nicole Andersen and Scott Andersen founded ArtisanDental in 2014 and transformed it into a carbon neutral practice. We consider the environment to be a stakeholder in our practice because it provides our business with necessary inputs. Clean air, clean water, and nutrient rich soil. Issues and People